Third Piece To The Puzzle: Langston Wilson Commits To Bama Basketball
By: Drew DeArmond
Nate Oats and Alabama Men’s Basketball stayed red hot on the recruiting trail this afternoon with the commitment of the top junior college power forward in the country, Langston Wilson of Georgia Highlands Community College. The number two overall junior college prospect nationally has an amazing story chronicled below.
The diagnosis: Marfan syndrome.
A gift from God: Clean bill of health
Clearance to play basketball.
This has been the journey for Langston Wilson. From four years as a Basketball manager in his hometown of Philadelphia at Prendergast Catholic High School to one of the most highly-recruited junior college prospects in the 2021 cycle.
Marfan syndrome involves the connective tissue within the body and those who are stricken with the disorder also have abnormal heart valves, which could put someone like Langston Wilson at increased risk of heart failure that’s worsened by physical exertion.
First diagnosed around the age of 12, Wilson was told he shared the gene attached to Marfan syndrome with his father, Ron, who played center at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to the 1995 Big East Championship. The elder Wilson had four heart surgeries within 17 days around 2010.
Consequently, Langston Wilson was not cleared to play high school basketball for the Bonner-Prendie Friars during his four years of high school. It wasn’t until shortly before moving to Atlanta with his older sister, Maya, that Wilson received the news he had been praying for: medical clearance to begin playing organized basketball by his childhood cardiologist.
Following another clean bill of health after getting a second opinion following the move to the state of Georgia, Wilson got the break he needed:
After eventually getting a job at an amusement park, while playing pickup basketball (had been about three months since moving to Atlanta) Jonathan Merritt, the head coach at Georgia Highlands College, a junior college in Rome, Ga., was texted video of a pickup game by a friend.
Merritt watched Wilson’s raw talent mixed with NBA-level athleticism and was immediately intrigued enough to contact the Philadelphia native. The rest is history.
Following a freshman season in which he averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds & 1.2 blocks, Wilson’s stock shot through the roof earning him 44 offers before cutting the list to a final 10 of Memphis, Alabama, Oregon, Iona, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal State Bakersfield and Alcorn State.
The 6-9 215-pounder ultimately chose Alabama due to style of play, Nate Oats’ history of success with Jucos & his relationship with Crimson Tide assistant Bryan Hodgson. Wilson joins 6-6 Georgia wing Jusaun Holt & the state of Alabama’s top prospect 6-3 point guard JD Davison to give Alabama Basketball 3 commitments with the early November signing period slated for November 11th.
Alabama has four seniors on the roster in John Petty, Herbert Jones & Alex Reese, along with graduate transfer Jordan Bruner. The Tide staff would like to sign 5 in the early signing period with two more names to watch being 5-stars center Charles Bediako & forward Caleb Houstan...stay tuned!