Siblings encourage each other on and off the court

Junior forward Corey Langerveld has always been one of the most reliable players for the men’s basketball team, including having the highest free throw percentage (.880) and the most time played on the team this season.

Always a motivated and competitive athlete, Langerveld has a familiar face cheering him on at every APU home game.

Langerveld grew up in a household where sports were central to life. His parents worked with college athletes at Washington State University for Athletes and Action Ministry. He choose basketball as his sport, his older brother Tyler played football, his god-brother played basketball and his younger sister Melissa cheered and played volleyball.

The advantage of growing up around athletes who honored God helped Corey and Melissa Langerveld build their foundation in who they are.

This is Langerveld’s third year playing for the Cougars. With one more year of eligibility Langerveld will graduate in the spring with a degree in Communications and play next season as he enters graduate school in the fall.

On Jan. 30 against Chaminade, Langerveld tied his career high by scoring 21 points. Three out of five of those shots were three pointers. Yet it wasn’t enough to secure a win. The Cougars are currently 12-13 on what has been a rough season so far.

One of the factors that has helped Langerveld through this process, has been the constant support of his family, which includes his sister Melissa, a freshman at APU on the cheer team.

In what has become a family tradition, at every APU’s men’s home basketball game this season: Corey is introduced as part of the starting lineup, he goes down the tunnel and proceeds to hug his sister, Melissa.

“In that first game, I knew she was going to be out there, and I wanted to show her love. I asked her if it was okay to give her a hug, and from then on it’s become a tradition,” Corey Langerveld said.

Basketball head coach Justin Leslie has been working with Langerveld since he was a red-shirt freshman.

“I got a player here that understands the process of what it takes to work hard because it has been instilled in him by his family,” Leslie said.

Leslie is not only concerned about what Corey does on the court. He is also invested in Langerveld ‘s relationships and developing Langerveld as a person. Over the past three years Leslie have developed an authentic relationship with the Langerveld family.

“Corey is pretty much the stereotypical older brother,” Leslie said. “Corey wants to watch out for his sister, he wants to make sure she’s protected.”

Corey Langerveld has been playing basketball since he was three years old. Under God and family, basketball has been the greatest reward in his life. Even in times where he has felt the most frustration, whether in disappointing loses or in the few incidents when Langerveld has felt like he is tired of basketball, it only takes about a couple of day before he is itching to get his hands back on a basketball and get back into the game.

Having a great support system through his sister backing him up has added to Langerveld’s continuous love for the game and determination to play as long as he can.

“It’s crazy that she is here…literally my whole life she has been my cheerleader,” Corey Langerveld said.

Melissa came to APU initially because her heart was always set on living somewhere warm and after visiting her brother a few times she noticed she connected with the people and decided to apply.

“Now that [we are in] a different setting I don’t expect to see him…so it’s cool to be done with practice and walk into [Heritage] and see that he’s there,” Melissa Langerveld said. “It’s such a joy to see him because we have so much fun together.”

Corey Langerveld also describes himself as a very competitive person, something you need in athletics, but a characteristic he happens to share with his sister.

“She’s tough,” Corey Langerveld said. “Out of my brother and me she is the most competitive.”

Being an athlete herself, Melissa Langerveld knows the disappointment in not having the season that reflects the effort you put into it.

“It’s crazy that I’m so much more invested into the game. I want him to do well, I want his team to win because I care about him so much,” Melissa Langerveld said.

Leslie, a small town guy himself knows how important it is to have a familiar face in the crowd cheering you on through the disappointment and the triumph.

“When you have things [or people] that remind you a little bit of home and [and remind] you of those close connections you had growing up, it means a lot to you,” Leslie said. “Her being here means a lot to him.”