The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently changed the age missionaries can serve. This has changed the Brigham Young University’s basketball program for the better. Before the age change the athletes would play a year then leave on a mission for two years. Now with the age change BYU athletes can go straight on their mission from high school and then return to BYU for 4 consecutive years of eligibility. Jeff Call from Deseret News says,
But more BYU-bound players are finishing high school early, like the program’s most recent returned missionary, guard Jordan Chatman. He graduated early from high school and left on his mission to Taiwan. He was on an accelerated academic program and earned his associate degree before leaving for missionary service. Chatman completed his mission at the end of March.
Jordan Chatman will be the first of this wave of new players to serve missions before playing basketball.
“I’m really looking forward to watching Jordan and seeing how he develops over the next four or five months and fits into the college environment that he hasn’t experienced yet,” Rose said. “This next two or three years … it seems like a two-year adjustment (with returning missionaries), but it’s going to take a little bit longer than that to see how this really works.”
What is more beneficial? Playing basketball after two years off on a mission? Or playing one year before the mission and getting to know what college basketball is really like?
“What I’m looking forward to is the continuity,” Rose said. “I’ve always felt like it’s good to come play a year then have two years off after you’ve played because you experienced it and you know what the grind is. Those guys that leave right out of high school won’t have that year to know what it’s like. But hopefully, the consistency of them playing four straight years will outweigh the fact that those two years is more anticipation than knowing what it’s like.”
Jordan Chatman’s dad, Jeff, who played at BYU in the 1980s, said Jordan will follow the blueprint that Haws established after he returned home from a mission. As a sophomore Haws led the West Coast Conference in scoring, just months after coming home.
Jeff Chatman says,
“Tyler’s going to help him a lot. The biggest thing is, (Jordan) doesn’t have to rush his way back. He has plenty of time to get back into basketball shape. The problem people have when they get back late, like in July or August, they feel like they have to rush back, and they push their bodies too far. That’s when they get injured. Tyler and Marty (Haws) are the ones that set the standard that everyone’s following now — get back early in the year, take two months off to not play or scrimmage with basketball, but work on conditioning, work on lifting, work on skills like shooting, dribbling and passing. But wait two months to play. After those two months, play just one or two games and work your way slowly back into playing. It worked well for Tyler.”
See full article here.