Allegheny commit Ryan Lang having strong year for Knoch

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022 | 11:18 AM


Ryan Lang worked hard to transform his game, and now it has paid off.

Lang, a 6-1 senior guard at Knoch, committed to Allegheny on Sunday.

“I love the coaches there. I love the campus and the team,” he said. “I think it’s the best place for me.”

Allegheny coach Bob Simmons feels Lang can play either point guard or shooting guard for the Gators.

“If I work my butt off this summer, I think I’ll be ready to take on the point guard spot in college,” Lang added.

That confidence has taken time and effort to be backed up.

Lang has been a talented shooter since early in his career, but his skill set lacked balance.

“My main role was coming off screens and shooting the lights out of the ball,” he said of his first two years in high school. “I had to pick up the driving, the playmaking. I feel like I’ve done a decent job of it.”

Said Knoch coach Alan Bauman: “He had a great cast of characters around him when he was a sophomore and was just asked to shoot the basketball and score. When that senior class graduated, we challenged him that, ‘Look, if you want to play in college, it’s got to be at the point guard spot. You have to learn to not only create your own shot, but create for others.’ That’s where he’s really grown and blossomed as a playmaker.”

With that challenge from Bauman, who is in his second season with the Knights, Lang got to work.

“I was in the gym every day,” he said. “It was a lot of shooting off the dribble and getting to the hoop. Those were my weak points, and I worked on that a lot this summer.

Lang is scoring more than 20 points per game for Knoch, which has had a rollercoaster of a season. But it’s been Lang’s enhanced court vision that has made the Knights a tough team to face.

“When he’s getting six to seven assists a night for us, we’re in games, we’re competitive and we’re winning,” Bauman said.

Knoch (6-12, 2-7) has not had it’s top 10 players together since mid-December because of a variety of injuries, covid-19 issues and the death of a player’s parent.

“We’ve been through the ringer, and to see these guys continue to battle and continue to support each other has been phenomenal,” Bauman said.

“(Lang’s) taken over the leadership reins, and he’s holding kids accountable now and really starting to get on kids and make kids better. That was a goal of ours from the beginning of the year.”

Now, Knoch is getting healthy, and, after a six-game losing streak, the Knights were able to rattle off consecutive wins over Indiana and Derry.

“I feel like, as we get our guys back, we’re starting to click, and it’s getting a lot more competitive,” Lang said. “It’s nice to see our guys start to progress. We’re hitting our stride, which is what you want at the end of the year.”

Outside of basketball, Lang enjoys golfing and fishing. But his true passion is lifting weights. And that’s a love he hopes to grow at Allegheny.

“I want to be a personal trainer and own my own gym,” said Lang, who plans to major in business management. “I thought, why not take my passions of basketball and lifting and combine that into personal training. Owning my own gym has always been one of my dreams.”

But before he gets to that point in life, Lang wants to close out his final high school season on a winning note. It’s a drive that Bauman will miss greatly next year.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch him grow as a player and transform himself from a true shooter to a playmaker and becoming a true triple threat,” he said. “Watching his passion and competitiveness has been an absolute pleasure. I wish I had more time with him.”

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