Five Facts: Langford, Williams, Edwards, Waters, Strus
The Boston Celtics have a number of new faces on their roster this season, including a handful of fresh draft picks and two-way players.
We've dug up five fun facts on five of those first-year Celts, and they're below for you to digest. So go ahead and brush up on your team trivia now as these young players prepare to make their respective marks in the NBA.
The Celtics selected Langford out of the University of Indiana with the 14th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- Langford and fellow C’s rookie Carsen Edwards were teammates on the 2017 Team USA squad which captured a bronze medal at the U-19 Basketball World Cup in Egypt.
- Langford became just the fourth player in the history of Indiana high school basketball to reach 3,000 points in his career, as he graduated New Albany High School with 3,002 points to his name. His senior season in 2018 included averages of 35.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game, which led to his earning of Indiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year award.
- Before he even graduated high school, Langford already had a basketball court with his name on it. The groundbreaking ceremony for Romeo Langford Basketball Court was held May 11, 2018 at Kevin Hammersmith Memorial Park in New Albany, Indiana. Langford was just 18 years old at the time.
- The 6-foot-6 guard tallied 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game during his lone season at the Indiana University, despite being hampered by a thumb injury on his shooting hand.
- At 19 years old, Langford is the only teenager on the Celtics’ roster and is the team’s youngest player by more than a year. His 20th birthday falls on Oct. 25, which also happens to be the date of Boston’s home opener for the 2018-19 season.
The Celtics selected Williams out of the University of Tennessee with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- During his childhood, Williams learned how to play seven instruments, including clarinet, drums, piano and violin. He was also a nationally ranked chess player in elementary school.
- His mother, Teresa Johnson, works as an engineer for NASA in the program that designed and developed the international space station. His father, Gil, played basketball at Mankato State, before becoming a bodyguard in the music industry. Some of the clients for whom he provided security included Prince and Michael Jackson.
- Williams was recruited by a number of Ivy League Schools, including Harvard and Yale, but he ultimately chose to attend the University of Tennessee.
- The 6-foot-7 forward was named SEC Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first player to do so in 24 years. During his junior season, he averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He was named a consensus 2018-19 All-America First Team selection, as well as a finalist for the 2018-19 Wooden Award.
- The studious athlete completed the requirements for his bachelor’s degree in supply chain management by May of his junior year.
The Celtics selected Edwards out of Purdue University with the 33rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:
- During his 2016 senior season at Atascocita High School, Edwards averaged 26.3 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game, all while leading his team to a 38-1 record and a trip to the Texas state finals. Along the way, he logged a 50-point game, during which he shot 13-of-15 from 3-point range. He went on to finish in the top five in voting for MaxPreps National Player of the Year.
- Edwards was the 2018 recipient of the Jerry West Award, which is given annually to the top collegiate shooting guard in the nation. As a sophomore at Purdue that season, he averaged 18.5 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 40.6 percent shooting from 3-point range.
- Edwards declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, but ultimately decided to return to Purdue for his junior season. He went on to score 24.3 points per game, ranking 1st in the Big 10 in scoring and 9th overall in the nation. He knocked down a school-record 135 3-pointers that season, including an NCAA Tournament-record 28 during just four rounds of play.
- During that same timeframe, Edwards also became the first player in NCAA Tournament history to knock down eight or more 3-pointers in multiple games. During the second round, he shot 9-of-16 from deep as part of a 42-point effort against defending champion Villanova. Two rounds later, he put forth another 42-point effort, as he canned 10-of-19 from beyond the arc during an overtime loss to eventual champion Virginia.
- Edwards was the leading scorer of the Celtics’ 2019 Summer League squad, as he tallied 19.4 PPG over five games, while averaging 23.4 minutes of playing time. His final game of the summer session was a 25-point, eight-rebound effort against eventual champion Memphis.
The Celtics selected Waters out of Louisiana State University with the 51st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and then signed him to a two-way contract. Here are his five facts:
- The New England native grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. He played his first three years of high school hoops at South Kent School, which is the same program that produced former Celtic point guard Isaiah Thomas.
- Tremont was one of seven boys born into the Waters family. He is the brother of John, Jordan, Edward, Curt, Keshaun and George.
- Waters dished out 198 assists during his first season at LSU in 2017-18, smashing the program's freshman record of 158, which was set by former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.
- Waters was named SEC Co-Defender of the Year in 2019 along with Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans. Waters set a school record with 96 steals that season, while also finishing second in the nation in steals per game (3.03).
- At 5-foot-9 ½, Waters was the shortest player at the 2019 NBA Combine. Interestingly, he had the largest hand measurement of any point guard at the combine at 9.75 inches wide.
Strus signed a two-way contract with the Celtics after graduating from DePaul University. Here are his five facts:
- Strus began his collegiate career at the Division II level, playing for Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. He proved after two seasons that he belonged at the D-I level, so he transferred 35 miles northwest to play at DePaul University in Chicago.
- The 6-foot-6 wing was one of only three Big East players during the 2018-19 season who averaged more than 20 points per game. The senior put up 20.1 PPG, while also leading the conference in 3-point attempts (311) and minutes played (1,309).
- Strus earned College Basketball Player of the Week honors during the first week of March 2019, after averaging 34.0 PPG on 64.9 percent shooting from the field. His top performance from that week was career-high 43-point effort that came during a 92-83 win over Big East rival St. Johns.
- With a career average of 18.6 PPG, Strus is third all time on DePaul’s scoring average list. He is also third all time in 3-point makes with 194, despite playing only two seasons for the Blue Demons.
- Strus’ mother Debra also played basketball, as well as volleyball, at DePaul. The 1981 graduate was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame when Max was a young boy.