Photo: USA Basketball
The mystery of why John Calipari cut ties with Romeo Langford on the recruiting trail has been a puzzling situation for months. Now, the reason for the separation has been made public.
Langford, a five-star shooting guard for 2018, played for Calipari last summer as a member of the USA U19 squad in Cairo, Egypt. Langford played just 8 minutes in the opening game and back spasms limited him to fewer minutes the rest of the tournament. Playing limited minutes didn’t sit well with Langford or his father, Tim Langford.
Calipari’s United States team lost to Canada with a spot in the gold medal game on the line, the first time since 2011 that the U.S. didn’t win gold. Langford played an average of 5.8 minutes per game and didn’t see the floor in three of the eight games. According to a story written by the Courier-Journal, Romeo told his father that Calipari “couldn’t adapt to what was going on against Canada.”
In the story from the Courier-Journal, Tim Langford said that Calipari came into his living room and said he was excited to coach Romeo at the international level and possibly the college level. Langford was disappointed that Calipari didn’t play his son, which is what he told the UK coach.
“I just told him, ‘You came in our house, said you couldn’t wait to coach our son and do this and that. You had the opportunity before his back started bothering him. I didn’t appreciate it because you said you wanted to coach him and you had the chance to do it.”
Even after his father’s comments to Calipari, Romeo still wanted to include Kentucky on his list of schools. His father reached out but Calipari never called back. Finally, we have an answer to what happened.