Basketball took Kris Lang from Gastonia's Hunter Huss High School to a spot as a four-year starter for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The 6 foot 11 Lang then traveled the world — making stops in Poland, South Korea, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as some U.S. spots — during a 16-year professional basketball career that ended in 2018.
But anyone looking for Lang now can probably find him back on the hardwoods, this time in Belmont at his own gym.
Kris Lang Sports Complex opened last month as a 24-hour basketball gym, which will soon add a weight room and exercise area.
"This is my fix," Lang said after taking a break from running basketball drills with several young hoopsters Thursday. "Instead of me playing and waking up with sore ankles and a tight back, I now get to get out here with them in the gym. That's enough for me."
Lang has been back in Gaston County for a few years. He recently moved into the first house he ever bought for his mother directly across from Hunter Huss High School, where he tore up the courts before graduating in the Huskies Class of 1998.
He settled on opening up his gym in Belmont after finding a former mill without steel beams in the center.
The basketball court itself has top-rated hardwoods and rims with glass backboards. He wanted to go top level, he said.
Membership costs $35 a month, but it give people the chance to use the gym 24 hours a day.
He wants the over-40 crowd to pick the sport back up with three-on-three half-court games, as well as youth teams and others.
Lang also offers for an additional fee one-on-one training for athletes who want to improve on their high school careers or maybe move on to college or pro basketball. He'll put those who take his instructions through the same drills he ran as a Tar Heel and pro player, he said.
"A lot of the fundamentals of basketball have been lost," he said. "Now, it's all about how high can you jump or can you make the three. Basketball IQ is completely gone."
And while hoops took the 42-year Lang literally around the world, he appreciates that he can work with Gaston County kids.
"It's my home," he said. "I prefer to come back home and work with the kids in the community."
Lang has already talked with other groups, from Gaston County Schools, which will allow children from Central and Page Elementary School to be dropped off on buses for his after-school program, to the YMCA about joint recreational league games.
"I'm hoping this takes off," Lang said. "I want people to come here and have fun, just play some ball.
"I want this to be a place where you can come and meet new friends."
Kris Lang Sports Complex, which can be found online at KLSportsComplex.com, will give out school supplies at a Back to School Bash at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Those wanting to attend do not have to be members of the gym.
The address of the gym is 710 E. Catawba St., Belmont. However, if you're planning to attend, put 704 Brook St., Belmont, into your GPS or map device. Entry into Kris Lang Sports Complex is located in the back of the building.
You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-201-7016 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: UNC basketball: Kris Lang opens gym in Belmont, North Carolina