Langhorne now eligible for USOC award

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Maryland forward/center Crystal Langhorne has been named the USA Basketball 2005 Female Athlete of the Year, the USA Basketball Executive Committee announced Thursday.

Langhorne led the U.S. women to a dominating 8-0 performance and the gold medal at the 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship earlier this year. The tournament MVP, Langhorne averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. She ranked fifth among all competitors in the 12-nation field for scoring, second for field-goal percentage (.775), fourth in free-throw percentage (.793), tied for fifth for offensive rebounds (4.75) and tied for 15th for rebounds.

Langhorne, who helped the U.S. women beat its competition by an average of 46.3 points, scored in double digits in all eight contests and had one double-double, notching 23 points against China in the semifinal contest and posting 17 points and 12 rebounds against Puerto Rico in preliminary play. She finished the competition ranked second all-time among USA U19 World Championship participants for points (133) and field goal percentage (.722), and fifth for rebounds (51).

"To tell you the truth, I was really shocked about the whole situation," Langhorne said. "It means so much for me to be named the women's basketball Player of the Year for the USA. So many great players have [won it] in the past, which makes it an even bigger honor. There were a lot of top players this summer for USA Basketball … [that] makes it even more special for me to get this."

In capturing the 2005 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year honor, Langhorne not only is eligible for the 2005 U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Female Athlete of the Year Award, which will be announced by the USOC at a later date, but she also enters into impressive company of previous USA Basketball honorees. In its 26th year, the USA Basketball Athlete of the Year has been earned by notable athletes such as Carol Blazejowski (1980), Lynette Woodard (1983), Cheryl Miller (1984, 1986), Teresa Edwards (1987, 1990, 1996, 2000), Lisa Leslie (1993, 1998, 2002), Dawn Staley (1994, 2004), Chamique Holdsclaw (1997) and Seimone Augustus (2003).

"As good as Crystal is as a player, and she's not only one of the best in the nation, but one of the best in the world, she's an even better person," said Duke coach Gail Goesteknors, who coached the USA U19 World Championship team. "She is truly a joy to be around and to coach. She is very consistent. She has a quiet calmness about her, regardless of the game, regardless of the score. You can always count on Crystal to give a full and focused effort."

Prior to the U19 Worlds, Langhorne aided the U.S. squad to a 5-1 record in exhibition play, including a 4-0 slate and the gold medal against U19 squads from Australia, China and Russia at the 2005 International Sports Invitational (ISI) in San Diego. The team also went 1-1 against Hungary's U19 squad in a two-game exhibition series in Budapest.

She scored in double digits in all but one of the USA's pre-U19 Worlds contests, including a 21-point, 10-rebound outing against Australia at the ISI.

As a freshman for Maryland in 2004-05, Langhorne averaged 17.2 points, a team-high 10.6 rebounds and shot a team-best 59.2 percent from the floor as the Terps finished with a 22-10 record. She finished the season ranked No. 11 among all NCAA participants in rebounding and 13th in shooting percentage. For her efforts, Langhorne collected ACC Rookie of the Year, All-ACC second team and ACC All-Rookie first-team honors.