Langston Galloway Excited to Fulfill Lifelong Opportunity to Play for USA
Langston Galloway always wanted an opportunity to play on the USA Basketball Select Team, a group that trains with the USA Men’s National Team ahead of major international competitions.
Instead, the NBA veteran was given a bigger international opportunity. Galloway was selected to play for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team that will participate in the upcoming second competition window of the FIBA World Cup qualifying games.
“To be on the other side, to be able to play for the team I’ve been wanting to get on the last couple years is a great opportunity and I look forward to getting everything rolling,” Galloway said.
Galloway, who has primarily played as a shooting guard, will train with the national team for about a week before the qualifying games. The U.S. faces Puerto Rico on Thursday, Feb. 24 and Mexico three days later at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
“This is a dream come true,” Galloway said. “It’s something you can’t really fathom as a kid, growing up watching the Dream Team back in the day. Going out there with USA on your chest and your surname on your back is everything. I’m going to compete my tail off and give it my all to try and help us win.”
Galloway has played 452 NBA regular-season games over the past eight seasons with seven teams. He was part of the Phoenix Suns team that reached the NBA Finals last season before ultimately falling in the championship to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Galloway feels the experience will pay off with the national team.
“I feel I can provide a leadership role,” Galloway said. “It’s the perspective of playing so many games in the NBA. Being in the locker room … being able to talk guys through situations and off the court conversations … that goes a long way towards developing team chemistry.”
Galloway comes into qualifying with the second-most NBA games played on the U.S. team. He’s behind only Joe Johnson, who has played 1,277 games with seven different teams. The two briefly played together several years ago during training camp in Detroit.
Galloway also benefits from his experience of being around players like Olympic gold medalists Chris Paul and Devin Booker, as well as Jae Crowder during the Suns’ run to the NBA Finals last season.
“Those guys gave me a lot of knowledge from a game perspective, but also from the perspective of going out and finding ways to win,” Galloway said. “It was definitely a great experience, seeing how those guys carried themselves, how they attacked each game, their mindset and their mentality. It has taken my game a long way.”
Galloway, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native spent four college seasons at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After going undrafted in the NBA, he caught on with the New York Knicks in 2014-15 and was selected NBA All-Rookie second team
, and has bounced around the league in the years that followed. He’s primarily played the 2021-22 season in the NBA G League with the College Park Skyhawks, the affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, where he’s averaged 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists in eight games.
Galloway shot a career-high 42.4% from 3-point range with Phoenix last season. A career 36.8% shooter from 3, Galloway hit from 39% beyond the arc one season earlier with Detroit. He also has experience running the point during his early NBA seasons with New York, New Orleans and Sacramento.
“Being able to be a combo guard in this league is everything,” Galloway said. “I feel like I can shoot with the best of them. Running the point has been another great experience because it’s another added skill that I can showcase and I can run the point if needed.”
The FIBA World Cup qualifiers feature 16 national teams from North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Each of the four preliminary round groups consist
s of four teams, and the top three from each group qualify for the second round. Following the second round, the three top teams from each group and the top fourth-place team qualify for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which will be played in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
The U.S. is part of Group D, which also includes Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. In November, the Americans defeated Cuba 95-90 but lost 97-88 against Mexico.
The next round of games is scheduled to take place during the summer, as the U.S. is set to meet Puerto Rico and Cuba.
“It’s going to be a tough task and we have to be up for it,” Galloway said. “They want to beat us as bad as we want to beat them, and they’re going to come out ready to knock us off. We have to be ready and this is an opportunity we have to capitalize on.”
Galloway said he’s happy with his experience in the G League this season — and seven games with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee — but he would eventually like a full-time return to the NBA. Still, Galloway is excited about a lifelong international opportunity in front of him to represent the U.S. and help the group defeat Puerto Rico and Mexico.
“It’s a dream come true to get the opportunity to play with the USA and to be able to really put my talents on display for the world,” Galloway said. “This has given me another chance at playing and it’s something I’m looking forward to. I’m really excited for the opportunity … excited to get to camp, hone in and focus on how we can get two wins.”