When his sons were in second grade, Keyford Langley didn’t intend on coaching his twin sons. He had planned on being in the stands, to give encouragement to his sons and cheer them on like any other parent.
But when their coach suddenly left the team, the boys and their teammates needed a coach. And Langley stepped in.
Nearly 10 years later, Langley is still coaching his sons, Keyshaun Langley and Kobe Langley, only now on the AAU circuit for CP3. Now sophomores at Southwest Guilford (NC), they’ve parlayed their standout play into commitments to Virginia Tech last Thursday, along with their friend, 2019 three-star center B.J. Mack.
The elder Langley said he’s seen similarities, but plenty of differences in their games, too. Together, though, they’ve become a lethal tandem on the court.
“Keyshaun is all in and he’s definitely a pit bull on both ends of the floor,” Keyford said. “On the offensive side, he’s very savvy with the basketball, but very under control. He pushes the ball, he shoots the ball really well. He’s more of a point guard. He’s a pass-first guy and Kobe is more of a combo, but he’s really athletic, one of the most athletic guys in the class. He can score at all three levels and handles the ball really well. Defensively, he goes at it hard.”
Kobe, a point guard, has a few different qualities than his brother.
“Kobe tends to be more flashy,” Keyford said. “He gets 10 points, you remember his 10 points. Keyshaun might finish with 25 points and you might think you saw 12. But he mixes it up, with threes, points in transition. He’s a really good free throw shooter. Both of them love to play in big games, in pressure times. They really just get after it and know how to play. The difference isn’t night and day. They give you the same thing, but Kobe is a lot more athletic than most kids in his class. It’s interesting to see them play off of each other.”
Whether it’s coaching his sons on the AAU circuit or watching them play in high school, Keyford has seen the natural sense both twins have of playing with each other. But sometimes, it might not be as obvious.
“Especially on the defensive end, they put a lot of pressure on the basketball,” Keyford said. “You’ve got guards that turn the ball the way they do. The other guard knows what’s gonna happen and these guys anticipate, with steals, deflections. And on the offensive end, they know how to drive and kick it to each other, they know where they’re gonna be on the floor and just the communication is unreal. But I do think they push each other and challenge each other when they’re playing together. To me, it’s always been something special to see. It’s sometimes hard for me to see it as a coach, but other people have told me they see this and that and that’s made us stronger.”
Since that moment that he stepped in to coach his sons and their team, Keyford said he’s seen plenty of steady improvement. But the biggest attribute he said he’s noticed is how Keyshaun and Kobe have made those around them, better.
“I think the thing they got better with is being able to play with kids who are as talented as they are,” Keyford said. “The first couple of years, they had to carry the team. And then when Wendell Moore joined and another kid joined, they knew how to sacrifice for the team. Thy learned how to put the team before themselves. That to me, has made not just them successful, but the other guys, too. I think that’s what made our team so special. It wasn’t because we had the best talent that we’ve won, it’s because we had the best team.”