At a middle school track meet, plopped between rural fields of Basketball, Ind., no one was watching the hurdlers catapult then land onto the polyurethane.
They were live-streaming on their phones to see what an 18-year-old basketball player — whom they don’t even know — was about to say.
At a Clarksville High School baseball game as the dust flew on the field, an announcer stopped in between innings. He had something more important than game stats and concession stand deals to reveal.
“Romeo is going to IU!” he belted out over the loudspeaker.
Inside Second Presbyterian Church at an evening Bible study in Indianapolis, it was time for the small groups to gather back together for a larger dialogue.
But as all of those adults tried their best to discuss the gospel, the buzz wasn’t the Bible. It was that New Albany High School’s Romeo Langford had just made his decision.
“People see Romeo as a way to get back to the glory days of Indiana basketball – and I mean Indiana as a state,” said Daniel McQuiston, associate professor of sports marketing at Butler University, who was at that Bible study Monday night. “Basketball is a religion in Indiana.”
And, for now, Romeo is its high priest.