Rick Fires is a reporter and columnist for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
UA commit Langerman enjoys early start playing at Bud Walton Arena
Rylee Langerman, a senior at Christian Heritage High School in Dell City, Okla., drives to the basket Tuesday, June 11, 2019, during the Arkansas women's team camp at Bud Walton Arena on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Rylee Langerman pulled up and swished a 3-pointer at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday during action from the Arkansas women’s basketball camp.
It is a shot Langerman hopes to repeat many times in Fayetteville after committing to the Razorbacks last November.
“I’ve been here for a few visits, but I hadn’t had a chance to play on the court yet,” Langerman said after leading Christian Heritage Academy of Del City, Okla., to a victory over Harrison. “It’s been fun this week making my first baskets and dribbling on this floor here, where I’ll be playing in college.”
Langerman still has her senior year left to play at Christian Heritage, which reached the state finals in Oklahoma’s Class 3A before losing to Adair in the championship game. Christian Heritage was bumped up to Class 3A after winning consecutive state championships in Class 2A in Oklahoma.
Langerman is a 5-foot-9 point guard who’ll have an increased role after the Crusaders graduated their top scorer from last season. Del City is near Oklahoma City, and Langerman was named to The Oklahoman’s Little All-City team after she averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as a junior. She averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds as a sophomore.
“Her work ethic and her grit makes her a great candidate for college basketball,” Christian Heritage coach Lisa Littlejim said. “She’s not going to be outworked, and it’s the time she puts in off the court that really sets her apart. She really maximizes the talents that God has given her.”
Langerman, who lives in Norman, Okla., said pledging early to Arkansas was an easy decision.
“I committed to Arkansas because I love the way coach (Mike) Neighbors is building this program,” Langerman said. “The culture here is great and the new recruits they’re bringing in, I know a lot of them. So, I’ll have some friends coming along with me, and I’m really excited for the future here.”
Langerman also plays volleyball and tennis at Christian Heritage. She said being a multi-sport athlete has helped her with basketball, her primary focus.
“I think playing a lot of sports helps you,” Langerman said. “It helps you become versatile to where you can do more things. Different sports complement each other. I definitely recommend playing different sports, if you can.”
Langerman is pleased with her development. But she said she needs to become more of a scorer and vocal leader as a senior for Christian Heritage. Her coach has no doubt Langerman will make that transition in her final year of high school before continuing her basketball career in college.
“Rylee has helped define Lady Crusaders basketball exactly, as a coach, I want it to be defined,” Littlejim said. “She has great character, and she’s going to be the hardest-working player on the floor.”
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