Maryland senior Crystal Langhorne is a proven winner. Her basketball career is young compared to many college players - she started in eighth grade - but she quickly became one of New Jersey's top high school players and is now one of college basketball's most prolific athletes. Langhorne also excels in the classroom, and was recently named to the All-ACC Academic Team for the third consecutive year.
When did you start playing basketball?
(I started) when I was in eighth grade. I played because my brothers played and I was tall, so I figured I might as well play too.
What other teams have you competed on leading up to your college career?
Of course my high school team. I also played for two AAU organizations - the Boro Blitz and the Philadelphia Belles - as well as the USA U-19 and U-21 teams.
You mentioned your brothers also played basketball. Can you talk about what it was like growing up in such an athletic family?
My parents weren't really into sports, it was just the kids at first because my parents are about academics. (Sports) didn't overrule my family like a lot of (athletic) families. If I had a game, they took me, but it was always laid back.
Can you talk about your experiences playing internationally with the USA team?
Crystal Langhorne's jersey is retired.
It's just a great experience because you play with the top players in the nation. I think it helps for playing in college, especially with our team, because you play with so many people who can score. That's how the Maryland team is, too. (It's a great experience) playing at the highest level and it helps anyone's game.
What is the best advice you've received from a coach?
That you have to work really hard, that's (the main thing) that everyone has always said to me. You have to work harder than anyone else.
Who is your most influential role model?
My parents because of the morals they instilled in me.
What is your most memorable moment in sports, either as an athlete or as a fan?
When we won the national championship in 2006. That was the biggest thing my teammates and myself had ever accomplished. We worked hard to get there and it really meant a lot. We were excited about it because it's such a big thing to win a national championship.
What is your personal greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
I just got my jersey retired here at Maryland. That's probably the highest thing I've ever achieved in my life in athletics.
What do you still hope to accomplish?
On a team basis, I want to win the ACC (Tournament). The national championship is also really on our minds.
What do you think it will take to accomplish that this year?
Langhorne goes up for a shot over Miami's LaToya Drake.
We have to play good defense, rebound, and take care of the ball.
Can you talk about the leadership needed to have such a successful year this year even with Coach Frese missing games with her pregnancy?
She was there for a lot of the season, but when she went out, it was good that we had a lot of seniors and juniors on our team and that was had Coach Park to guide our team. If we had a young team, it would have been really difficult. I think our leadership really helped us out a lot.
What is it like playing in a conference like the ACC?
I love playing in a conference like this. It's physical and very tough, and the competition is very tough. You never know what team can come out and beat you. This year we didn't play our best at Virginia Tech and were down 20 points. It can be a very difficult game against any team.
What does it mean to you to be one of the most decorated players in conference like this?
It means a lot, especially because there are so many great players in the league. It really speaks for our team and our Maryland program to help me achieve some of the things that I have.
You're also an academic power as well. How do you balance the demands of playing such a high-profile sport with the demands of academics?
I think it's just a matter of time management. That's what college is about. If you can manage your time, it's possible. I still have free time too. It just depends on where (a student-athlete's) focus is at.
What is your favorite aspect of the ACC Tournament?
It's a great atmosphere. It's right before the NCAA Tournament and can determine where you go, so these few days are so intense.
Why did you choose Maryland?
I chose Maryland because I loved the coaches and the team. I looked at a lot of other schools that have won a lot of championships, but Maryland was the place that had a new coach and she was looking to rebuild. I wanted to be a part of that.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After I graduate, I want to play professionally, hopefully in the WNBA or overseas. (After my basketball career), maybe something with interior decorating. I'm also a communications major, so maybe something with sports broadcasting.
Crystal Langhorne and the second-seeded Terrapins take to the court tonight at 6 p.m. for an ACC Tournament quarterfinal game against seventh-seeded Boston College. The game will be webcast live on ACC Select.