Pelicans guard Langston Galloway calls return to play in Louisiana ‘a dream come true’

There seemed to be a reasonable chance when NBA free agency began July 1 that the New York Knicks would bring back Langston Galloway for a third season, enabling the guard to continue building on what had been an out-of-nowhere Gotham success story. In order to sign other players, however, New York was forced to relinquish Galloway’s rights July 4.

As it turns out, those circumstances proved to be a blessing for the 24-year-old, who’ll now get to play roughly a 90-minute drive from where he grew up and starred in high school for Baton Rouge’s Christian Life Academy. Galloway officially signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, allowing him to suit up for his home state’s NBA franchise.

“When I first had a chance to tell my mom and dad, and my wife’s family, they all just started crying, because it’s a great opportunity to see me play as a professional back home,” Galloway said of the reaction to his return to the bayou, while visiting with Pelicans.com’s Black & Blue Report. “There is definitely excitement back home for me.”

Over the past six basketball seasons, Galloway has played exclusively in the Northeast, first for St. Joseph’s (Pa.) University in the Atlantic 10, then during a brief stint with the Westchester Knicks of the D-League. He debuted with the NBA Knicks on Jan. 7, 2015, going on to play in 127 consecutive New York games over two seasons.

“Being an undrafted free agent, and going that route of going through the D-League and continuing to grind to try to get to the NBA and make my dreams come true,” Galloway said, describing his unique path to the league. “That’s definitely a huge part of me. This is only the beginning for me. I’m just ready to continue to work hard and continue to show what I can do.”

Two days after New York was forced to renounce his signing rights in restricted free agency earlier this month, New Orleans agreed to terms with Galloway, who’s looking forward to coming back to the Gulf South. He’ll get to play all of his home games in the Smoothie King Center in 2016-17, after having played there twice previously (once during a high school showcase game, once this March for a Knicks-Pelicans tilt).

“I’m definitely excited. It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Galloway, who had averaged 14.7 points per game vs. New Orleans over three meetings, tied for his best against any New York opponent. “I’m just excited for the opportunity to go out there and compete, and show what I can do in a Pelicans uniform.”