Torreys Scorer Given the Green Light

A high-riser, Ryan Langborg can run the floor and handle the ball, and his shooting range is as soon as he crosses midcourt.

A pure scorer, the La Jolla Country Day senior joined the San Diego Section’s 2,000-point club just before the holiday tournaments.

But the thing Torreys basketball coach Ryan Meier likes most about his 6-foot-4, Princeton-bound senior is his loyalty.

“When we had some turmoil (in the 2016-17 season), Ryan had chances to break free and start new,” Meier said. “But he stayed loyal to the program, the school.

“Now as a senior, he has taken over. He has shown great leadership.”

Heading into tonight’s Coastal League showdown with No. 4-ranked Foothills Christian, La Jolla Country Day is 11-6 and ranked No. 7 in the section.

Langborg is averaging a career-high 24.1 points a game and his career point total stands at 2,155, placing him 13th all-time in section scoring.

With at least 11 games to play, he has an outside chance to climb into the top five.

“Until this season I wasn’t aware of the point total,” Langborg said. “The biggest reason you play the game is to win games, win championships.

“What 2,000 points tells me is that hard work pays off.

“All my father, all Coach Meier ever said was to play hard and do the best I could.”

Ryan’s father, Kurt, was an All-America swimmer in high school in Rhode Island and swam collegiately at Yale.

Ryan’s brother, Jack, played basketball at Santa Fe Christian and Point Loma Nazarene University.

Both have had a great influence on Ryan.

“Because of my dad, I 100 percent looked at going to Yale,” Ryan said. “From a young age, I dreamed of playing at an Ivy League school.

“And I really enjoyed watching my brother play in college.”

Ryan’s final five college choices were Princeton, Yale, Pepperdine, Rice and Santa Clara, all great academic institutions.

“Obviously, there was a pull to Yale,” said Langborg, who carries a 3.65 GPA. “And my mother (Kim) went to Pepperdine.

“And I was blown away by Rice.

“In the end, though, I had to follow my heart. Princeton felt like home.

“The coaches outlined my role, who I’d replace, where I fit in. That was huge.”

Meier said former Torreys player Bruce Edwards, who is playing at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, had a huge impact on Langborg and on Meier, counseling the coach on how to play Langborg.

Edwards was a senior when Langborg was a freshman.

“Bruce was our star,” said Meier. “But he took me aside and said Ryan was a better player, our best player. Ryan makes the right play to a fault. He always makes the right pass.

“Bruce told me to give Ryan the green light to shoot.

“That green light has now turned into florescent green. Ryan has unlimited shooting range. For him, there is no bad shot.”

Torrey Pines coach John Olive, who played at Villanova under Rollie Massimino and was the head coach at Loyola Marymount for five seasons, loves Langborg’s game.

“He’s an amazing player, long, lean, athletic,” Olive said. “As long it’s not against us, I really enjoy watching him play.”

Langborg, who almost followed his brother to Santa Fe Christian, said he has enjoyed his time at La Jolla Country Day and has never regretted his decision to play for the Torreys.

“I came here in the eighth grade because I could see Coach Meier was building a program, changing the culture.

“I wanted to play at a smaller, academic-oriented program. My dad has always said, ‘If you don’t get A’s, you don’t play.’ I took that seriously.”

Langborg takes the game seriously, too.

On shooting days at practice, he’ll put up 500 to 1,000 shots. He works on pull-up jumpers.

He picks out spots on the floor and will put up a minimum of 10 shots from each spot.

“My shooting range has grown over the years,” Langborg said. “That comes from experience and growth. Watching my brother in high school and college was super beneficial.

“I’ve worked hard on my ballhandling because I was labeled as a shooter my freshman and sophomore years. I’ve learned that being a shooter isn’t a bad label.

“Princeton (which recently upset Arizona State) is losing a scorer to graduation, so they want me to come in and score, create shots.

“But we have unfinished business in high school before thinking about college.”

The Torreys, who went 2-3 over the holidays against great competition, have played without point guard Raymond Lu since the first half of the first game of the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. Plus, 6-10 Jayson Taylor and freshman guard James Hapgood have been limited by injuries.

All are well now.

“It’s ridiculous how much Raymond changes us,” Langborg said. “He runs the offense, gets us into the right sets.

“The playoffs are wide open with a lot of teams pretty even.”

The Torreys will have to be healthy to slay the monster teams in the Open Division. And Langborg will have to be at his best.

“Despite the adversity of the holiday tournaments, we pulled together as a team,” Meier said. “The guys believe in the big picture, never had their chins on their chest.

“We’re going to keep that attitude, we’re going to need Ryan playing like Ryan moving forward.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever coached.”

by John Maffei