Considering the life David Langley left behind, one would assume he'd be satisfied starting at guard for Quincy University and leading the team in scoring.
But Langley, who transferred from College of the Canyons 2 1/2 years ago, wants more.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound senior expects to be playing professionally this time next year.
"It'll be done," said Langley, who averages 18 points a game. "It's not something that you think. It's something that you feel."
Langley, 27, did not compete in sports at Los Angeles High. For four years after he graduated, he hung around with gangs before getting the "feeling" it was time for a change.
For Langley, such sensations are important signposts.
"I still have that feeling," he said. "I feel (pro basketball is) in my cards."
Basketball was not in the cards for Langley in high school. He played an occasional pickup game in the park when his stepfather, a contractor, had no construction work for him. Or when there was no gang activity.
"I really didn't think about basketball," he said. "I had other things on my mind. I never was really too much of a sports fan. But I think there was always a love for it."
Langley decided he wanted to get out of the city around the time of the 1992 riots. Another event sparked that decision: Langley's cousin was killed in a gang shooting.
"I got tired of hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble," he said. "I've got direction now."
Langley and a friend went to a Canyons tryout in the fall of 1990 and made the team. Langley, with no organized basketball experience, was considered a project. But by his sophomore year, Langley was averaging 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds a game.
Langley and his friend, Reggie Bell, transferred in 1992 to Quincy, a Division II school where Langley averaged 10.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 1992-93. But it was a turbulent time.
A month before his first game at Quincy, Langley learned that his stepfather, a diabetic, nearly died when he was arrested for drunken driving while actually suffering from insulin shock. Two months later, moments before a game, Langley was told his girlfriend was the victim of an attempted rape.
And as that first season with the Hawks came to a close, Langley's girlfriend gave birth to his daughter, Tianna.
"It was rough," Langley said.
In the fall of 1993, after he was ruled ineligible because he hadn't completed enough units, he quit school and returned to L.A.. Langley thought he'd take a stab at domestic life.
"I left school to be with my daughter and her mother," Langley said. "That didn't work out. But everything happens for a reason. And I'm back."
Langley is shooting 49%, 42.7% from three-point range and 80% from the free-throw line. He had a career-high 28 points in a 76-68 victory over Northeast Missouri on Jan. 16.
"My teammates and my coaches have a lot of confidence in me," he said. "And I have a lot of confidence in myself. God's given me a talent. I'm trying to use it."
Tianna, who lives in Reseda with her mother, has provided additional inspiration.
"She's a big impact," Langley said. "I'm constantly thinking about her.
"Right now, I'm in school, playing basketball and looking to my future. It's kind of hard to take care of her like every man takes care of his own child. But I'm doing what's right for right now."
And if all goes as planned, Langley might soon be supporting his daughter with the help of a professional basketball franchise.
Add Quincy: Hawk senior forward Rasaan Hall (Crespi/Canyons) is averaging 13.8 points a game. He scored a career-high 29 in a 109-77 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Jan. 18. . . . Freshman forward Matt Steffe (Hart) his best game with 16 points and nine rebounds in a 103-72 victory over Missouri Baptist on Jan. 10.
Injury report: Junior guard C.J. Thompkins (Campbell Hall), Columbia's second-leading scorer at 13.1 points a game, is out for the season after breaking his right ankle in a loss to Cornell on Saturday. Thompkins was leading the team with 49 assists. Thompkins had a career-high 23 points against Stevens Tech on Jan. 7.
Knee surgery has sidelined sophomore forward John Cannon (Sherman Oaks CES), who expected to get plenty of playing time at Linfield College, an NAIA Division II school in McMinnville, Ore.