Transfer brings veteran presence and elite scoring

By Logan VanDine

Rider women’s basketball is in the midst of their 2023-24 regular season, and the team is looking to rebound after only winning 10 games last season. Upgrading the roster was not easy for the Broncs, with many key players transferring or graduating.

 The fresh-faced team also had new players with graduate student guard Taylor Langan being one of them.

Langan, who is from Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, first opened up about how she first got into basketball.

‘That’s all I wanted to do’

Langan, who attended Jefferson Township High School in Jefferson, New Jersey, also played both soccer and lacrosse and ran track, compiling a multi-sport resume. 

“When I was growing up, my mom and dad said I was always strong enough to play basketball,” said Langan. “They knew that was going to be my passion because ever since I was little, that’s all I wanted to do: play basketball.” 

Despite participating in a number of sports, Langan always knew that basketball was the sport for her.

“I’ve actually known for forever,” Langan said bluntly. “Even when I was in fourth or fifth grade when people asked, I said I just wanted to play basketball.” 

Langan did just that playing on her varsity high school basketball team throughout all four of her years in high school and had a chance to play with someone very special to her.

“At the time, my sister was a junior on the team so I already knew that they needed a point guard, and playing with her was the best feeling ever,” said Langan. 

When it came time for Langan to decide where she wanted to play basketball at the collegiate level, she initially committed to the University of Delaware, where much of her family had attended, but when the school changed coaches and athletic directors, she decided on Colgate University.

Langan attended Colgate from 2019-22 and played 30 games off the bench, averaging 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

However, Langan did not see much action on the court at Colgate, as two ACL and meniscus tears and a stress fracture in her femur kept her on the bench, costing her two seasons.

“I love the game more than anything, and it makes me appreciate every moment I have,” Langan said.

Langan then decided to take her talents to Millersville University for the 2022-23 season, where she already knew someone who was originally with her at Colgate.

“Sharay Hall, who is now the assistant coach at Rider, was my position coach my sophomore year, and her and I became ‘thing one and thing two.’ … she’s been a mentor for me,” Langan said.

Hall, who is in her first season as an assistant coach for the Broncs, spoke about the special relationship she has with Langan.

“I would describe my relationship with Taylor as a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Hall. “We, as coaches, pride ourselves on building relationships with players but to be a part of someone’s journey at three different stops, it’s rare,”

After her one-year stint at Millersville, where she averaged a team-leading 15.9 points again, Langan and Hall wanted to run it back one more time at the Division I level and luckily, they had the same place in mind.

‘I knew I could do it’

 Langan certainly found a home at Rider as she’s averaged almost 14.3 points per game this season including a career-high 31 points against Lehigh and has scored 10 points or more in 15-of-17 games thus far.

“I wanted to get back to the Division I level. I knew I could do it. She loves coaching, she loves mentoring and being a position coach, she wanted something new, too, and I actually committed to Rider before her,” Langan said.

When Hall was asked about how much Langan had grown since being at Colgate and Millersville, she could not be more proud of her.

“I cannot even put into words how much Taylor has grown since I met her at Colgate,” Hall said. “Now, three years later she is mature, a leader both by example and by action, she is the biggest cheerleader of those around her and still can perform at a high level. It’s simply amazing.”

Lynn Milligan, who is in the middle of her 17th season as the head coach of the team, spoke highly of how much of an impact Langan has on the team.

“She came in as a mature older player, very confident and natural leader, and I think she’s been as consistent as she can be on a day-to-day basis,” Milligan said.

With this being her last season eligible to play college basketball, Langan is determined to keep playing basketball beyond college.

“I would love to continue to play basketball, “ she said.“I want to continue to play over in Europe professionally [as] that has been on my radar for after this season.”

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