Former student-athletes finish short in 'Amazing Race'
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The NCAA News

Herb Lang and Nathaniel Lofton didn't meet until they became teammates on the Harlem Globetrotters five years ago, but they later realized their lives have followed similar paths. Their strong friendship led them to audition for and to be selected as competitors on the 15th season of the CBS reality show 'The Amazing Race.' The pair was eliminated from the competition this week, just one week shy of competing for the $1 million prize.

The show pits teams of two against each other in a race around the world, with teams who finish last facing elimination or a future disadvantage. Teams are progressively eliminated until three teams remain. The first team to finish the final leg wins the grand prize.

Lang, nicknamed "Flight Time," and Lofton, called "Big Easy," were strong competitors and fan favorites from the start because of their humble beginnings and easygoing nature.

Both Lang and Lofton played for Billy Kennedy, now coaching at Murray State. Lang graduated from Centenary in 1998 and Lofton from Southeastern Louisiana in 2005. Both now live in Louisiana with their families.

Lofton, who grew up in a rough section of New Orleans, helped push a pickup truck full of 13 friends and family members out of the city when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. In the season premiere, Lofton said he was proud to represent his hometown.

"My nickname is 'Big Easy.' I couldn't have that name if I didn't go through what I went through coming up in the city," he said during the season premiere. He told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that his basketball experience came in handy in the pre-taped game.

"I went into the game respecting it. I knew it was going to be hard, but I respected it from the jump. When it got hard, I was prepared for it," he told the paper.

Lang, originally from a small town in Arkansas, won the NABC Slam Dunk Contest during his senior season with Centenary. Earlier this year, the mayor of Shreveport proclaimed January 22 "Herb Lang Day" in the city.

The pair was eliminated in the penultimate episode of the show, which aired November 29. The former student-athletes have traveled through Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The game show awards prizes to the team that finishes each leg first, with a grand prize of $1 million. Lofton and Lang finished first twice during the first 11 weeks of the show.

The finale airs Sunday, December 6.

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