“I can see this getting bigger and bigger, with more players wanting to go on missions,” said Judkins, who recalled similar situations when he recruited young men at the University of Utah. “I have to prepare for it. The first couple of years may be hard because you can’t cover yourself fast enough. Hopefully I’ll be prepared.”
Judkins sought advice from BYU men’s head coach Dave Rose, who told him to stagger the missionaries out so they aren’t all going and returning at the same time.
“Get it where you can spread them out. You can’t have four girls out at once,” Judkins said. “Balance it out.”
What kind of condition will they be in when they return? Good question, DuBose said.
“It would take guys a year to get their legs back, where they were jumping as high and as athletic as they were before,” DuBose said. “With women, this is uncharted waters for all of us.”
Judkins is not worried about how they will perform. He holds up former Cougar Melanie Pearson, an all-conference transfer from UCLA, as an example. Following her mission, Pearson led BYU to the Sweet Sixteen in 2002.
“She didn’t lose a beat,” Judkins said. “I’ve had three girls that have had babies. It’s a lot harder to come back physically and mentally from that. It can be done, but it’s difficult.”
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