Dec. 7, 2011
At 6-foot-2-inches tall, Savanna Langston is an imposing figure on the basketball court.
Imagine what she looks like competing in the swimming pool.
That's what she did as a junior in high school as Savanna said she enjoys the water almost as much as she enjoys the basketball arena.
"I really enjoy swimming and being around water," Savanna said. "I love going to the lake and the beach. I was on an AAU swim team and a club swim team. It was my junior year. It was fun.
"I wasn't very good. It was the Central Arkansas Racers. I just competed around the state. The team went to Germany and competed, but I had a basketball tournament that weekend. I was good at the breast stroke and butterfly and the IM*."
The freshman forward from Parker's Chapel in El Dorado, Arkansas will call Karl Malone Court at the Thomas Assembly Center home for the next four years of her college life.
After she initially committed to UALR during the summer leading up to her senior year in high school, Savanna came to Ruston on an official visit that fall and changed her mind.
"I really liked the atmosphere (at Louisiana Tech)," she said. "Compared to all the other colleges, it seemed like people we so much nicer. It's like they really care about you."
She will find out just how much Lady Techster fans care about the players and the program over the next few years of her life.
Savanna is accustomed to winning. During her four-year high school career, she played for coach Mark Young (who also coached former Techster great Tasha Williams at Kingsland High School before moving to Parker's Chapel) where she helped lead the program to the Arkansas Class 2A state title game last year.
Despite scoring 18 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking six shots, her team came up just short in a 31-29 loss to England. It wasn't something Savanna took lightly.
"I am really, really competitive," she said. "It might not seem like it, but I really am. I hate losing."
"Basketball is so much fun, just getting out there and competing," Savanna said. "It's nice to go to gym when you are having bad day and shoot around. I've been playing basketball ever since I could pick up a ball; probably around kindergarten. My dad and I have been out in the driveway since I was four-years-old."
Away from the hardwood, Savanna is an avid reader ... although she says she hasn't had much free time since stepping on campus.
"I do like to read ... a lot," she said. "I like reading a lot of Nicholas Sparks' books. He wrote the Notebook and Dear John. I love the Harry Potter books. Those are my favorite.
"I don't have time to read right now. I read a lot during the summer. I read the Hunger Game books by Suzanne Collins over the summer. They were different ... like a sci-fi type of book."
Savanna's father Ralph is an accountant and her mother Kim is a registered nurse (who now works as a stay-home mom). She also has a 16-year-old brother, Taylor.
And according to Savanna, her family is a close-knit group.
"My grandparents live across the street. I'm really close with them," she said. How has life been since moving an hour away from home?
"It's different. My mom used to cook for us all the time," Savanna said. "It's weird not having my family around. It's weird not having home-cooked meals. That's what I miss the most. You have to do everything for yourself. If you don't have time, you can't ask mom to do your laundry. I'm a lot busier than in high school."
(*, Individual Medley which consists of the butterfly, breast stroke, back stroke and free style)