BYU coaches await impact of lowered missionary age

By Lynn Debruin

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 3:27 p.m. MDT

"I think it makes sense to get out and come back and play four years," Haws said. "But I'm happy with the way I did it. It feels good to have a year of experience under my belt."

He is just glad he had about six months to get his body right after returning after spending two years in the Philippines.

"I tried to take it one step at a time," said Haws, who was a starter as a freshman and managed only a few pickup games in the Philippines. "I didn't want to jump into anything too quick. There have been some returned missionaries who tried to do too much, too quick and have gotten hurt, so I tried to be smart that way. The first couple of months, I just tried to hit the weights and try to get my legs back."

Not every LDS player serves a mission.

BYU stars Steve Young, Danny Ainge and Jimmer Fredette didn't. Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer also did not, but he wasn't a church member when he came to BYU.

Center Shawn Bradley served his mission after playing one year at BYU then headed straight to the NBA.

Cooper Ainge, son of Boston Celtics basketball operations president Danny Ainge, still is planning to serve his, but is hopeful he can go in April, which would give him an entire summer to get back in basketball shape after being away from the game for two years.

But he clearly likes the rule change because of the options it provides.

"I don't think everyone should go at 18 because I don't think everyone will be ready then, but it's a good rule for people who are ready," he said.

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