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Michigan State names Joshua Langford, Aaron Henry, Foster Loyer basketball captains

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Injuries have gotten the best of Joshua Langford the past two seasons, but that has hardly affected his standing on the team.

Entering his senior season, that much was made clear on Thursday when Langford was chosen as one of Michigan State’s team captains for the third time in his career. Juniors Aaron Henry and Foster Loyer also were named captains for the 2020-21 season.

Joshua Langford was named one of Michigan State's three captains for the 2020-21 season.

“It means a lot,” Langford said in a statement. “Not everyone gets the opportunity to play at a program like Michigan State. Just to have the opportunity to play here, it’s an honor and a blessing. To look at the names of all these different captains and great leaders from his program, it’s a great honor and another result of God’s Grace.”

Langford is the seventh player under Izzo to become a three-time captain, joining Antonio Smith, Mateen Cleaves, Kalin Lucas, Travis Walton, Draymond Green and Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr.

Langford missed last season and all but 13 games of the previous season because of a foot injury that required two surgeries. With practice set to officially begin, Langford is expecting to be 100% healthy. In 83 career games, he’s averaged 10.2 points and 2.8 rebounds, including scoring 15 points a game in the first 13 games of the 2018-19 season before being sidelined.

“When you have a vote among your players to determine captains, it’s always interesting to see who the team looks to and in this case, I think our team selected three players who are true leaders in our program,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “Josh Langford is one of the most disciplined players we’ve ever had here, and it’s a testament to him that he is a captain for his third straight year. It’s a special type of person to command that respect from his team and Josh has earned that.

“I’m happy to see Aaron and Foster get that recognition from their teammates. Both of them have some very good experience and are guys who are not afraid to speak up and say what is on their mind, both on and off the floor. They are two of our hardest-working players, and I think they will be great leaders for our team.”

Henry, who withdrew his name from the 2020 NBA Draft to return for his junior season, started 29 of 30 games last season while averaging 10 points and 4.6 rebounds a game. He also averaged 2.9 assists in 29.1 minutes a game.

“I’m honored to have an opportunity like this at a program like Michigan State,” Henry said. “When you come to Michigan State and you’re here for two or three years, you aspire to be like many of the great leaders this program has had. I think being a captain for the Michigan State basketball team carries a lot of weight. All of us share that leadership and we want to be leaders on a team that helps to carry on the legacy of this program.”

Loyer, the former Mr. Basketball from Clarkson, has spent the bulk of his first two seasons backing up Cassius Winston. He’s appeared in 67 career games in a limited role, but will be counted on this season to see a significant increase in playing time.

“I think it’s just an honor at such a program where leadership and the ability to help your teammates and to be a leader is such a prime factor,” Loyer said. “It’s a responsibility that I will take very seriously and I will hold myself accountable to my teammates and make us the best that we can. There’s a great emphasis that we put on leadership and holding each other accountable, not only in basketball but in life, and I’m really excited for this opportunity and this season.”

Twitter: @mattcharboneau