Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) Six weeks ago, Jack Doss received a phone call he would have to keep secret until now. The eight-time state champion head basketball coach was selected as one of two people nationwide to coach a team at the McDonald's All-American game.
Across town, Madison Academy senior Joshua Langford had to wait for an announcement. "I was actually in the gym so I actually didn't know I made the team until I looked at my phone and had a billion text messages congratulating me." Doss and Langford's teams have built a solid rivalry over the last few seasons, mainly because of the star power on both sides. Doss' Johnson team features multiple future division one players, but he's always admired Langford's talent.
"I thought Josh would be on my team so I've been drawing up plays for two weeks to get him open in some plays and then I found out last night he would be on the west team." The rivalry lives on. Langford was selected to play for the West All Americans on March 30th in Chicago, which pits the two against each other one more time.
"I told him that I hate to have to beat him, but I have to do it," Langford joked less than 24 hours after learning of his selection. "Any game I play I want to win."
The real winner here is North Alabama basketball, and the exposure this game can provide for the area. Langford is not the first McDonald's All-American from the Tennessee Valley, but having two people involved in the game is huge. "basketball in Alabama should get more respect," Langford said. "I play all around the country and it's very competitive here in Huntsville. We stack up very high to the other states."
Coach Doss also weighed in on what this honor means to the entire area. "To be able to go out of state and compete, not only as individuals in this tournament but also as teams we play all over the country. We've beaten some really good teams so people understand basketball in this state is very competitive and we have some of the best players in the country."