Former RMU star using experience, wisdom to guide up and coming stars

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Image courtesy of Robert Morris Athletics

Jimmy Langhurst, a Willard, Ohio native, spent four seasons as a guard for Robert Morris and averaged8.7 points per game, 84% from the free throw line. He also appeared in two post season games as a Colonial: the 2008 NIT and 2009 NCAA tournament. Langhurst ended his RMU career winning two NEC tournament titles in 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

Knowing what I do about Jimmy, which knowing him for the better part of 14 years, I am not at all surprised to see where he has landed: on Andy Toole’s staff at RMU. Whether it was dealing with a broken nose a couple days before the NEC semi-final in 2008, fighting to get into the starting lineup, Langhurst knows and lives by one motto: FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

Langhurst, in his current role of Director of Basketball Operations, know what it takes to get to the D1 level and what it takes to play for a leader like Andy Toole. I was fortunate enough to get a few moments of his time and ask him some questions about the teams current state, what his duties are, what his memories of my days as a student manager are and a few other things.

1. So, an 0-4 start… I know there are tons of negatives to come from it, what positives do you take away from it?

(J) We’ve played some tough teams on the road and let one slip away at home. Hopefully we have learned from our mistakes and can move forward. Our team has shown signs of progress at times on the offensive and defensive end. We just have to sustain that for 40 minutes. 

2. I know coach Toole is all about fight, grit. In your opinion, who has shown you the MOST of it during this tough stretch?

Khaliel Spear has shown some fight/grit this year with his play on the court. He really dedicated himself last Spring/Summer to develop both his game and his body for this season, and it’s showing!

3. What changes can RMU fans expect to see with conference play upcoming? Any starting rotation changes, added minutes for guys?

A couple of players that haven’t played yet this year will be back for HL play: Kam Farris and Brandon Stone (both out with injuries). Kam will obviously bring some shooting and knowledge on the offensive end. Brandon will bring some size/length to our front court, and is capable of stretching the floor. We will keep harping the defensive side of things. That won’t change. We can’t keep giving up 82 ppg and expect to win games in the HL.

4.  So, being a former RMU Mens Basketball star, what’s it like to coach at your alma mater? 

Being back at RMU means a lot to me! I love it here and it’s a special place to me. Winning Championships here both as a player and as a coach is unique (‘09, ’10, ’20). There aren’t many former players that can say that they have coached at their alma mater. 

5. As Director of ops, what are some of your main duties. Scouting, travel arrangements, etc?

(J)At the Ops spot I juggle a lot of responsibilities. The duties can range from travel, making scouting reports, player workouts, player film breakdown sessions etc. It’s been great the last few years because I’ve been able to be on the floor to coach and be active in the drills. 

6. As some may know, I used to be a student manager for the teams you played on. What are some memories, good and bad, you have of our time together in those teams?

Always good memories with the managers! The managers here at RMU have always been treated with respect. As a player, I thought of you guys as my teammates. You do so much behind the scenes, work hard every day, and have long nights in the gym too! 

The only bad memory I can recall was after a late return (2:30AM) from Monmouth/Mt. St. Mary’s my Sophomore year. I shot poorly on the weekend and I had you and others come straight off the bus to rebound for me! I’m sure it wasn’t what you wanted to do immediately after getting off the bus, but you wanted to help and put the team first.  

(Langhurst didn’t shoot poorly very often; he felt automatic from anywhere on the floor) 

7. What’s your biggest piece of advice you’d give Someone wanting to play D1 college basketball. What was your biggest challenge that you faced?

My advice would be… There are two things that are guaranteed every day in a practice setting… Opportunity and Adversity. You’ll get opportunities before, during and by staying late after practice. The adversity will hit in the classroom, practice, life etc. It’s how you respond to that adversity. 

My biggest challenge would have been not playing as much as I wanted as a Freshman. I knew that if I continued to work hard on my game that my time would come. It didn’t happen overnight (Microwave Success) but I had to stay consistent with my work ethic. The next 3 years I was a starter and a member of an NIT and 2 NCAA teams. 

Langhurst has quite the vital role on this team. He is someone Coach Toole can lean on to guide his younger plays as well as someone who can step in and be a role model to the older, more seasoned players. I speak from years of experience, Jimmy knows what he is doing; what he is talking about, now its time, with being in the Horizon League, it is properly on display for more eyes to see.

The Colonials, 0-4 so far this season, look to finally get on the board with their first win Saturday when they travel to take on Davidson. It can’t get worse that it was last week against their former NEC rival, I look for the Toole/Langhurst lead Colonials to rebound. After all, fighting for what you want and what you need is what Jimmy Langhurst has done his whole life.

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