Being a walk on comes with little fanfare. You work on your shots. You play hard in practice. At the end of the day, however, you very rarely hit the court. That doesn’t make the work any less fulfilling or the experience any less exciting.
Matthew Lang came on to the Gonzaga Bulldog’s radar through association. The Zags were scouting an AAU team featuring Lang, but also featuring former Gonzaga recruiting target Kamaka Hepa. Assistant coach Brian Michaelson, also a Jesuit High School alum, quickly sparked a connection with Lang and offered him a spot as a priority walk on.
From there, it was on Lang to earn his minutes and his spot in the Gonzaga lore. His knack for hitting the taco shot (the 10th three pointer in a game) quickly helped him become a fan favorite, hitting one in each season except for his junior year (in which no fans at home meant no tacos anyway).
The hard work culminated in different ways for a player like Lang. At the end of his sophomore year, he was offered a scholarship. That was replicated at the end of his senior season as well. A reward for four years of work without a lot of thanks.
Lang has expressed interest in continuing to play basketball for another year using the free year of COVID eligibility. Whether or not that is at Gonzaga will be the big question, however, as Lang has graduated this season—so the next step of the program requires the actual graduate school he is interested in attending as well.