Langford key to title hopes

ONE of Australia’s best young basketballers, who starred in this year’s WNBL competition, will headline the Ipswich Force women’s team in their tilt for a state championship.

Emma Langford, who stands an overbearing 188cm, has been an impressive scorer for the Adelaide Lightning this season, regularly racking up 15-point-plus efforts.

She will be the Force’s go-to forward in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) which tips off in just two months time.

Force women’s coach Brad George said securing the signature of Langford was very important for the team’s title hopes this year.

“She’s a very versatile player who has performed well in the WNBL this season,” George said.

“Emma can play the small or power forward role because she has height and agility.

“She was very keen to come up here as she has family in the region.”

Langford is just 22 years old.

She was trained at the Australian Institute of Sport during her teen years.

She averaged a solid 11 points in the WNBL this season.

She did, however, explode at times, providing 19, 20 and 24-point games.

“What’s probably most impressive about her game is her work ethic,” George said.

“She’s a real team player who does what it takes to make the play.”

Langford was a standout in the American college basketball system for Wyoming last year.

She broke numerous school records while attending the college, starting at the small forward position.

She is holidaying in Thailand after the Lightning struck out in the WNBL season, missing the playoffs.

She will join the Ipswich Force women’s team next month.

Last year, the women’s team made the QBL playoffs for the first time in a decade under coach Trish Cockrem.

Cockrem no longer wanted to coach the team because she felt fresh ideas were needed.

George coached the women’s D League (reserve grade) team last season and also coaches the Bremer State High women’s basketball team.

George will be buoyed with the news that Force veteran Amber Bartels is considering suiting up for the team this year after initially retiring.

“I’m back training and I don’t think it will take too much to convince me to play again,” a coy Bartels said.

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