Trajan Langdon, named after the Roman emperor
, is a sharpshooting
, net-burning basketball player
who was a collegiate superstar
during his four years at Duke University
, one of the greatest NCAA basketball
programs of all-time
. His touch from three-point range
is deadly, which earned him the nickname "The Alaskan Assassin
," as he was born in the northern outpost
. He consistently
gave the Cameron Crazies
much to cheer and go wild about during the time he spent in Durham, North Carolina
as a member of Krzyzewski
. He helped his teams compile
a record while on his way to becoming the most successful three-point marksman
ever to play at Duke University
Langdon was an amazing scorer and was a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden awards as college basketball's best player in his junior and senior seasons. However, a few lame Duke fans, many college basketball fans and a greater percentage of Connecticut fans will remember him for missing a shot with a few seconds left that would have won the 1999 NCAA Championship for the Blue Devils, allowing Khalid El-Amin, Richard Hamilton and the rest of the Huskies to cut down the nets and take home the hardwood emblazoned with the circle of gold.
The fact that Langdon is seen by many as the one who blew the big game is a travesty, considering that he almost single-handedly kept the Blue Devils in the contest with his 25 points, which for the most part resulted from his 5 clutch three-pointers. He felt the pain of that loss probably more than anyone else on this planet.
It was a terribly heart-wrenching defeat for what some hardcore followers see as the greatest team ever to take the court at that university. That they rank the 1999 team, which finished 37-2, as the best is interesting, considering the fact that Duke has won the national championship three times and lost in the national championship an additional five times, not including 1999. The summary from Duke graduate and ACC analyst Rob Clough:
#1: 1999. How does a team that didn't win the national title wind up as Duke's best-ever team? By having the best talent - 4 top 13 picks, plus the 2000 ACC player of the year and the 2001 player of the year who is likely to be a top 10 pick (Shane Battier) and the best regular season (16-0 in the ACC). This team was a juggernaut that struggled in the NCAA's a bit, but one must remember that UConn was #1 for much of the year and a great team in their own right. Beating Duke was an upset, but they deserved the win. Even so, it was a very close game, and if Trajan Langdon had scored in the waning seconds, there would be little debate as to which team was the best. I think this team leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some fans because of the great exodus after the season, and the fact that team chemistry was fractured at times. Still, this team was incredible to watch.
Note: the 4 top 13 NBA draft picks were Elton Brand, William Avery, Corey Maggette and Langdon.
Trajan Langdon's Achievements:
Records at Duke University:
- First All-Time - Career Three-Point FG Made - 342
- First All-Time - Career Three-Point FG Attempted - 802
- First All-Time - Season Three Point FG Made - 112
- First All-Time - Season Three Point FG Attempted - 254
- Ninth All-Time - Points - 1,974
- Three-Point FG Percentage - 42.6
- Free Throw Percentage - 86.2
- Career Points Per Game - 14.5
Senior Season - 1998-99
Junior Season - 1997-98
Sophomore Season - 1996-97
- ACC 1st Team
- School Record: Free-Throw Percentage in a Season, .897
- ACC Player of the Week
- Chase NIT All-Tournament Team
- 14.3 ppg
Redshirt Season - 1995-96
Freshman Season - 1994-95
- 1994 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Qualifying Team
- 11.3 ppg with Duke
For all of the promise he radiated while at Duke, his professional career has been a disappointment. Though he continued to snipe from beyond the arc, finishing out the 2000-01 NBA season third all-time in Cleveland Cavaliers history in three-point FG percentage (41.3), his playing time and production fell the next year. His best year as a pro was 2000-01, when in 65 games (5 starts), he averaged 6.0 ppg while shooting team-highs of .895 (68-76) FT% and .411 (51-124) three-point FG% with 1.2 apg in 17.2 minutes per contest. His high point at the highest level came against the Detroit Pistons on November 21, 2000, when he scored a career-high 31 points on 11-13 FG (career-high 11 FGM), including 6-6 on three-pointers (both Cavs season-highs) and 3-3 FT with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 35 minutes.
Langdon missed nearly all of his rookie season because of inflammation and bruised cartilage in his right knee, which required arthroscopic surgery; he had also had surgery on the same knew during his college career. His short three years in The League were decidedly lackluster; currently he is not a member of any NBA roster.
His failure in the NBA was foreseen by at least one scout, the aforementioned Rob Clough:
In a lot of ways, Trajan Langdon reminds me a lot of another ACC player from the past: Rodney "Cool Whip" Monroe of NC State. Monroe was an incredible scorer...who proved to be a huge flop in the NBA. Why? Because he was a short guard who got most of his shots working off screens. Langdon is such a solid, pure shooter that he may have a chance in the league...as a bonus, he is an OK penetrator who is strong enough to draw fouls and get to the line (where he is flawless) and a good passer. But he is very, very slow for a guard and a poor ballhandler. While a smart defender, he frequently has trouble keeping opponents in front of him. In the NBA, this will only get worse. His 6-4 frame makes him a tweener. Some say he will have to play point guard to survive, but I think he's strong enough to play at the 2. Regardless, he will have trouble defending either position.
Full Name: Trajan Shaka Langdon or Trajan Chaja Langdon
Chaja shows up on earlier sites, like the one quoted below from Alaska, but with a Google search Trajan Shaka Langdon turned up 217 hits, while Trajan Chaja Langdon turned up a mere three. As far as I know, this could mean a lot of things - the first that comes to mind is that Chaja was his original middle name and that he changed it a little while before he became popular on the web - but, whatever the case, I'm leaving both spellings.
Born: May 13, 1976 - Anchorage, Alaska
Height: 6'3" / 1.91 m
Weight: 197 lbs. / 89.4 kg
Jersey Number: #21
Drafted: 11th overall, 1999 NBA Draft, by Cleveland
Basketball Experience: Cleveland Cavaliers, 1999-2002; Duke University 1994-99; East High School (Anchorage, Alaska) 1990-94
Trajan Langdon's NCAA Statistics
Yr GP-GS Min Field Goals 3-Pointers Free Throws Reb (O-Tot) Ast TO Blk Stl PF Pts
94-95 31-24 797 124-274 .453 59-138 .428 44-56 .786 19-65 48 38 4 13 69 351 11.3
95-96 DNP - Medical Redshirt
96-97 33-33 972 137-308 .445 86-195 .441 113-126 .897 29-97 68 50 10 33 56 473 14.3
97-98 36-36 1035 171-385 .444 85-215 .395 101-114 .886 28-104 70 58 8 22 77 528 14.7
98-99 36-36 1120 191-413 .462 112-254 .441 128-152 .842 30-123 69 64 3 52 84 622 17.3
T 136-129 3924 623-1380 .451 342-802 .426 386-448 .862 106-389 255 210 25 120 286 1974 14.5
Trajan Langdon's NBA Statistics
YEAR TEAM G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OREB DREB RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
99-00 CLE 10 0 14.5 .375 .421 1.000 .40 1.10 1.50 1.1 .50 .00 .60 1.60 4.9
00-01 CLE 65 5 17.2 .431 .411 .895 .20 1.20 1.40 1.2 .58 .14 .80 1.80 6.0
01-02 CLE 44 0 10.8 .398 .365 .913 .30 1.00 1.30 1.4 .30 .11 .91 1.10 4.8
Career 119 5 14.6 .416 .396 .910 .20 1.10 1.30 1.3 .47 .12 .82 1.50 5.4
YEAR TEAM G GS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB TREB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
99-00 CLE 10 0 145 15-40 8-19 11-11 4 11 15 11 5 0 6 16 49
00-01 CLE 65 5 1,116 135-313 51-124 68-76 12 77 89 81 38 9 52 114 389
01-02 CLE 44 0 477 70-176 27-74 42-46 13 42 55 60 13 5 40 49 209
Career 119 5 1,738 220-529 86-217 121-133 29 130 159 152 56 14 98 179 647
Here's an indication as to how important Trajan Langdon has been to the faithful fans up in the 49th state, written by Luke Jones, from http://www.jsd.k12.ak.us/dzh/AKonline/SE/Alaska/Trajan_Langdon.html, last updated in September of 1995, and very slightly edited by myself:
Raven Created The World... And Then He Created Basketball (Check the third wu in the Raven node if you're interested)
Alaska is crazy about basketball! The sport has been at the center of life for the whole state since the early 1900's. Alaska's love affair with basketball is evident from the frozen North Slope, to the cities, to the villages. Alaskan Native people - the Tlingit and Haida Indians, the Aleuts, Yupik Eskimos, Inupiat Eskimos and Athabaskan Indians - all greatly enjoy basketball. To many Alaskans basketball is an obsession and borders on religion; it is the reason and purpose for being. From this great tradition a new star has emerged...
TRAJAN CHAJA LANGDON - 6'4" - 180 lb. - Duke University. What does this mean to you? It makes me think of Trajan Langdon, a Blue Chip Freshman out of east Anchorage. His father is a white anthropologist who studied at Stanford University. His mother is an African-American who graduated from Notre Dame University. A polite, straight-A student, Trajan is Alaska's Aurora Borealis - the best basketball player in the history of the GREAT LAND!
Langdon had college coaches from all over the lower 48 practically on their knees begging for him. He decided to go to Duke University. Mike Krzyzewski was the fortunate coach to get this potential All-American. Who knows how much work it took this young star to reach the level he is at now? One thing is for sure, we will hear a lot more about Trajan Langdon.
Achievements and NCAA Statistics: http://www.sportsstats.com/duke/player/players/tlangdon.html
NBA Stats: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/trajan_langdon/index.html
Some biographical info: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/trajan_langdon/bio.html
Scouting report: http://www.ibiblio.org/craig/draft/1999_draft/Players/langdon.html
1999 team summary: http://dukeupdate.com/Rob_C/20010618_Ranking.htm
Everything else from the brain of the Rational Bastard.