Ipswich Force and national league basketballer Emma Langford enjoys working with kids keen to learn about the game.
Ipswich Force and national league basketballer Emma Langford enjoys working with kids keen to learn about the game. Rob Williams

Tuned for the big league

IPSWICH Force player Emma Langford is excited about signing with Logan Thunder for the fast approaching Women’s National Basketball League season.

However, she has unfinished business with Ipswich before focusing on pre-season WNBL training at the end of August.

Having joined the Force from WNBL club Adelaide Lightning, Langford was unsure what to expect in Queensland’s premier basketball competition.

However, the South Australian product is grateful for the opportunity Ipswich Basketball gave her this season.

“Playing in this Ipswich team has been really awesome,” one of Australia’s most exciting talents said.

“The whole Ipswich club, everyone involved, has been so friendly and so welcoming.

“I’m thankful for that.

“It’s made it really easy for me to come in and fit right in with the team.

“It’s really fun to play for them.”

Langford, 22, has been one of Force’s most consistent performers this season, averaging 19.5 points a game and helping Force secure nine wins from 12 matches.

“I’m just trying to get better as a player myself and just try to help the team when I can,” the Forest Lake-based basketballer said.

“I have games when I’ve been disappointed with how I played.

“But I’m enjoying it. To keep winning is also a lot of fun.

“I’m just trying to do that, go on and do well in the finals.”

Although the fourth-placed Force lost to second-placed Mackay last Sunday, the Ipswich side has already secured a playoff spot.

“We’re pretty happy with how we’ve been going so far,” the highly regarded centre said.

“We’re working on improving and getting better and aiming for the finals.”

Langford said the Queensland league was similar to the South Australian competition with one major exception – more road trips, including the northern trek to Cairns and Townsville.

“I loved that,” the beach-loving 188cm basketballer said.

“It was good fun to go away with the girls and play.”

Apart from national league experience, Langford also had two seasons with Wyoming in the American college system.

In between playing and training, Langford has been busy helping young players.

That included a recent Ipswich Force basketball clinic at Booval and encouraging beginners at last week’s Active After-school Communities program at Eastern Heights.

“It’s good fun,” she said, regularly dealing with school players.

“I’ve had a pretty successful career in college, I guess being one of the main point scorers there.

“It’s good to be able to pass on some of that knowledge and teach some young ones. It’s cool.”

Langford is hoping to play with the Force again next year, depending on how her debut season with Logan goes.

The affable basketballer is working with first-time Force women’s coach Brad George and experienced assistant Terry Lindeberg.

“They’ve both been really supportive on the court and off the court,” she said.

“Brad is doing a good job. He’s keeping really positive and upbeat with the team.”