(January 12, 2009)
Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073
Centenary Grad Goes From "Gent" to "Globetrotter"
Herb "Flight Time" Lang
Courtesy: Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc.
Shreveport, La.—He has gone from a small town in Arkansas with a population of less than 3,500 to playing Division I basketball at this small liberal arts college in Northwest Louisiana to going "prime time" and performing for crowds around the country and around the world.
And on Thursday, Jan. 22, Herbert "Flight Time" Lang will return to Shreveport-Bossier as part of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters to entertain fans at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City.
Lang attended and played basketball at Centenary College, graduating in 1998 with a degree in health sciences and physical education.
The oldest of nine children, Lang earned all-state, all-region and all-conference honors as a high school senior, then went on to star at Centenary College, where he was a first-team all-conference selection and a conference scoring champ. A standout student, he was named the 1998 Male Student Athlete of the Year at Centenary, and made the Dean’s List twice. That same year he won the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Slam Dunk Contest his senior season.
Shortly thereafter, he was invited to the Harlem Globetrotters training camp in 1999.
The coaching staff knew him from that slam dunk contest victory - one which despite being the smallest player in the competition at 6 feet, 3 inches - he won with a 360-degree dunk.
When Lang arrived, he was a little intimidated at first. "I didn't realize that you have to do all the tricks," said Lang, who hails from Brinkley, Ark. "But the first thing they look at is all of your basketball skills. After that, all of the tricks and the Globetrotter personality come out."
Training camp lasted two weeks - with the team primarily focusing on basketball skills before working on tricks the final few days.
But with his athleticism and fundamental skills, Lang made the Harlem Globetrotters and was one of eight new players selected that year. He has been playing guard for the team for the past nine years.
On Thursday night, Jan. 22, fans of all ages will be treated when Lang and the rest of the Harlem Globetrotters come to town. It will be then that everyone will be able to see for themselves why he is nicknamed "Flight Time" for a reason.
He was only 5-10 when he dunked for the first time in a game (as a high school junior), and he said it was like a dream. "People were kind of in awe and hanging over the railings in the stands," said Lang. "A guy on the other team got a dunk the very next play, but the crowd didn’t pay any attention to that." He got to display his dunking abilities before a live ESPN audience in 1998, as he captured the NABC Slam Dunk Contest at the Final Four in San Antonio.
Since joining the team, Lang has become one of the Globetrotters’ most talented ball handlers. "I like to look at old videos of Globetrotters like Marques Haynes and Curly Neal," added Lang. "I’ve had the good fortune of playing with Curley Boo Johnson over the years, and he taught me a lot. He’s the best dribbler I have ever witnessed first-hand."
As good as he is with the basketball; his favorite part about being a Globetrotter continues to be interacting with the fans.
"I like signing autographs. It's something we take pride in," Lang said.
About Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in the Shreveport and Bossier City communities.