New Orleans Pelicans guard Langston Galloway is one of those guys that really has no business being in the NBA.
Coming out of St. Joseph’s University as a senior in 2014, Galloway was not selected in that summer’s draft. He’s 6-foot-2, and while he plays combo guard, there traditionally hasn’t been a lot of love in the draft for little scorers. The kid was just too small with a ceiling too low to be considered seriously by any NBA teams.
Of course, he wasn’t the first player to hear those things and face an uncertain future in professional basketball, but Galloway latched on with the New York Knicks for summer league that year and performed well enough to make his way to the organization’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.
Then, on January 7, 2015, almost two years ago to this day, Galloway got his first call-up, signing a 10-day contract with the Knicks. He immediately performed well, earning himself a partially-guaranteed deal with the Knicks for his efforts.
“It was a great experience being there and just playing for the Knicks organization,” Galloway told Basketball Insiders’ Mike Scotto. “I think I made the most of my opportunities, just going out there and playing hard every night… I don’t have anything to regret about being there, and I think that they’re definitely a great organization for anybody to go to.”
Of course, when that two-year deal expired, Galloway found himself facing free agency for the first time. He ultimately signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he grew up just 80 miles northwest of New Orleans in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“That was a huge key for me (in choosing a team in free agency), just going back home and getting the opportunity. Not too many guys get the opportunity to go back home and play in front of their family and friends, and I just thought that would be the best fit for me. Looking at the Pelicans organization, in general, it definitely was a good fit for me just to go back home.”
So far, the move has been extremely successful as Galloway has carved out a consistent role for himself off the bench. He’s scoring 9.3 points per game, shooting a career-high 37.7 percent from deep and knocking down a career-high 1.9 three-pointers per game in just 21.1 minutes per night. It’s an efficient sort of success, and it’s something he says he’s worked hard to achieve.
“It’s just all the hard work I’ve been putting in over the summer time with my trainer, Drew Hanlen,” Galloway said. “He works with me every single day, whether I’d be watching film or just being able to talk to me to get my rhythm together.
“Also my confidence,” he added. “I think my confidence is at a new all-time high, and I think that every night my teammates and the coaching staff definitely believe in me, so that definitely helps out.”
In fact, considering his numbers and that the Pelicans are hosting All-Star Weekend this February, Galloway believes he could even have a shot at participating in All-Star Saturday.
“Hopefully, I continue to play well and continue to showcase myself, and I think that the All-Star committee, or whoever picks, will choose me to be the hometown guy to represent New Orleans.”
As a team, the Pelicans have had their ups and downs in the Western Conference this season, but despite being nine games below .500 and sitting at 11th place in the conference, they’re only 1.5 games away from putting themselves in the conversation for the eighth seed. According to Galloway, that’s where this group has their sights set.
“We’ve been taking one game at a time, and I think that every single night, we have a new challenge on our hands,” he said.
“I think that everyone raises their game up and pushes each other to be better. I think that, as we continue to go through the season, I think we’re going to continue to get better. We started off the season real slowly, but as the season continues to progress, we’re just getting more and more hungry, and I think that we’re going to continue to surprise a lot of people.”
Galloway himself has been a surprise in his first few seasons in the league. There’s no reason his team shouldn’t surprise a few people, too.
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