Detroit Piston Langston Galloway has been playing basketball since he was 3 years old and always dreamed of making it to the NBA. Now 27, the athlete has achieved his dream and celebrates his success by building an impressive shoe collection.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Allison Farrand
1. Tell us about your athletic background and attending Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to play basketball. I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I’ve lived there my whole life. To give you a little background of how I got to Philadelphia…my mom was from Philly, so it kind of just fell into place being able to go from Baton Rouge all the way up to Philadelphia. It was a culture shock for me at the beginning, but I had family there. My uncle was an assistant coach there, and Phil Martelli was my head coach, so I was so excited to get the opportunity to play for a coach that had sent two other guards to the NBA. So I said, “This is my dream, and if I can make it happen it will be great.”
I started there and went all fours years, finished with two degrees: sports marketing and communications, which was a blessing to finish up my degrees and be done with college. But then, everything happens for a reason. Going on (NBA) draft kinda started my journey with being able to take every single day as another opportunity to showcase myself — going from Saint Joe’s to the Knicks summer league team, I went out there the first time being nervous and tried to impress so many people. They gave me the opportunity to come to training camp. I played well, making it all the way to the last cut and got cut. That was kind of a reject, just knowing I have to continue to work hard. From there, I played with the G League team, Westchester Knicks. I played 19 games there. It was pretty cool to make the most of each game because I knew I could work on my game still — it wasn’t like I was done. I was really locked in and wanted to figure out how I could make this dream come true. When I got called up Jan. 7, it was like, I’m not looking back.
I was with the Knicks for two years, went from the Knicks to the Pelicans, was there for half a year and got traded to Sacramento, and I’ve been here (Detroit) the last two years going on three this year.
2. Did you always know you wanted to play basketball? I loved playing basketball; I’ve been playing since I was 3 years old. Growing up being on the court it was like I was at peace in another world. I was able to be myself on the court. It was always a dream of mine to make it to the NBA. But also, Louisiana is known for football — it’s football country down there. Baseball is huge too; basketball is put to the side. I started playing football and I loved it, but I knew I had to get back to my passion, and that was basketball.
3. You have a strong 3 pointer. Can you share any tips for shooting? The main tips I have for shooting a strong 3 pointer is keeping your elbow underneath the ball and being able to go straight through it. Get underneath the ball and follow through, pushing it. It’ll work out.
4. If you could play basketball with a player from the past, who would it be and why? There’s so many, but I would love to play against and with Allen Iverson for sure. I remember growing up I wore a headband because of Allen Iverson, I wore a sleeve because of Allen. There’s so many different things that I wanted to resemble because of him.
5. Who has been a mentor so far in your career? My uncle is like a second dad to me; he was my assistant coach in college. Whether he was giving me guidance, advice or getting me to go to Saint Joe’s, he’s always been there every step of the way with me throughout my journey.
And then my biggest one is my dad for sure. He’s made his own journey where he was playing college and went to the ABA before the NBA started. He went through his journey and had his ups and downs, but he’s taught me along the way how you do it and just continue to push. I’m always on the phone with him after every game I feel like he’s still my coach.
Now on to your style…
6. Three words to describe your style? I would say different, charismatic and star-studded.
7. Who inspires your style? It’s crazy to say this, but (Nike co-founder) Phil Knight. I was reading his book, “Shoe Dog,” about what he’s gone through and where he’s at now, and his approach to Nike — it’s pretty cool to hear his whole spill.
There’s a few other people: Jaysse Lopez, the owner of Urban Necessities, he went from living out of his car to now owning (several) sneaker stores and being able to live off of that.
In terms of style…I think I’m pretty different. Being from Louisiana you have to be different, and I think that speaks to a lot of people from there. Wearing mismatched socks or just something different to speak to who you are.
8. When not in basketball uniform what is your go-to look? I’m a big Lululemon guy, I’m always rocking my Lululemon. My wife is actually an ambassador for the Somerset store. I’ve been trying for the longest (time) to be an elite member and get on that team — hopefully soon I can get on there.
9. Where do you enjoy shopping locally or online to find your sneakers? Either I find them through connections of different people, or recently I was on eBay and reached out to one guy who sold me a pair and let me know he had a whole collection off of eBay so I’ve connected with him now personally.
I try to support local businesses, especially in Detroit and back home in Baton Rouge. Sneaker Politics is back home (Baton Rouge), NoJo Kicks downtown (Detroit), Burn Rubber (Royal Oak), etc. I love to support entrepreneurs in the area.
10. Any local brands you are currently into or excited about? I’m a StockX guy. I’ve purchased numerous amounts of kicks off StockX and have shown them so much support, so I appreciate them and everything they do. They’ve brought me in and let me tour the offices and everything.
11. You can never leave home without ____? My necklace, I wear this everywhere I go. Me and my wife have matching necklaces; it’s like the key to each other’s heart.
12. Head-to-toe outfit details from the photo shoot:
Shoes: Black dress shoes from Blue Sole Shoes in Philadelphia.
13. What exactly is #LGkicks and what inspired you to start it? I’ve always been a shoe guy — haven’t always been able to get the shoes, but I’ve always loved shoes ever since I was little. Watching the Allen Iversons of the world, the Michael Jordans of the world, you always want to see what they’re wearing. You see them at stores, and you wish you could get a pair. I wasn’t fortunate enough to get those when I was growing up, but now every single day I go out there and work hard, I feel like I can get these kicks and be able to wear them and cherish every moment I can wear them.
I recently started it about a year ago. At first it was all about posting my shoes and being able to show people all about what I have in my collection. I saw so many guys talking about sneakers, and then people would come over and say, “Man I didn’t know you had this many kicks.” So I thought maybe I should start something just to talk about sneakers — kind of like a blog setup. But then it kind of changed and grew its own legs. Now I’m trying to teach younger kids kind of like the business behind sneakers and the materials, cost price, everything that goes into a sneaker. I’m trying to make them understand that there’s a lot more behind this sneaker than just saying I have it in my collection, and I can wear it. I hope in the future I have my own scholarship to have kids go to school and take a class about sneakers, called sneaker essentials, with a company called Yellowbrick. I’m trying to set it up right now where I would be able to offer it to a number of students, and they can take the class and learn more about the history behind sneakers.
14. How do you pick which shoes you’re going to wear? Is it based on mood, feeling, function, etc.? With every kind of outfit I’m going to wear, I base it on what shoes I’m going to wear first. So I say, “If I’m wearing these shoes tonight, how can I put the colors together and what do I need to wear to match?” It all comes together at the end.
15. In this issue of the magazine we have a story on Detroit designer Dom Sutle. Tell us about your collaboration with her? We’ve collaborated on a sort of casual look. Kind of a tracksuit for me, something that I can walk around in day-to-day and is simple, but at the same time it catches someone’s eye. Like I said, supporting business owners in Detroit is huge.
Now on to some local love…
16. What have you come to appreciate about Detroit and our community since you’ve been living here? What was the transition from NYC to Detroit like? It’s been amazing. People don’t really give Detroit the credit it deserves. There’s so much to do outside the city too. There’s a lot more entrepreneurs, tech companies, there’s a lot that’s going on outside of it in Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield and everything in between.
17. You are also quite charitable. Can you share what charities you are involved with? Other than my Langston Galloway Foundation, locally my wife does so much with Lululemon, but she also partnered with Alternatives for Girls. We’ve supported the Boys and Girls Club here, Big Brothers Big Sisters as well. We just try to put our fingerprints on every association that we can. We’re excited to do more this coming year and give back any way we can — that’s important for our foundation. It’s all about education, health and well-being, and being an athlete after that.
18. Locally, what is your go-to for a meal? My favorite of all time that I try to go to after every game is Prime + Proper. I’m part of the knife club. It’s amazing.
19. Favorite quote or words to live by? I have a quote on my wristband that I always have on me: Hebrews 12:11. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” It talks about the discipline behind your character, not when you’re up high but when you’re down low, how do you build your character off of what the times are? When it’s all going good in life, everything is good, but when it’s going bad, how are you doing?