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Current, future BYU basketball players heading out on missions

Published: Sunday, July 5 2015 12:21 a.m. MDT

Brigham Young Cougars \Nate Auston,  Eric Mika and Tyler Haws celebrate a dunk  during NCAA action in Provo  Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Brigham Young Cougars \Nate Auston, Eric Mika and Tyler Haws celebrate a dunk during NCAA action in Provo Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO — A big part of BYU’s basketball future will be spending the next couple of years in Europe.

That’s where a trio of Lone Peak High products are, or will be, serving LDS missions.

Cougar freshman forward Eric Mika, who’s averaged 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds this season, and Lone Peak senior guard T.J. Haws, who committed to BYU in 2011, both received their mission calls Wednesday, on the eve of the Cougars’ game against Gonzaga.

Mika has been called to serve in Rome, Italy, and he’ll enter the Missionary Training Center on May 14. Haws, the younger brother of BYU star Tyler Haws, will serve in Lyon, France. He’ll depart on April 16. Before going on his mission, Haws is hoping to lead the Knights to another state championship.

Cougar walk-on Graham Pingree received his mission call a couple of weeks ago to the same mission in Italy as Mika, and will leave June 25.

Lone Peak's T.J. Haws shoots past Pleasant Grove's Mark Sheffield as Lone Peak High School and Pleasant Grove High School play boy's basketball Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Highland.  
 (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Lone Peak's T.J. Haws shoots past Pleasant Grove's Mark Sheffield as Lone Peak High School and Pleasant Grove High School play boy's basketball Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Highland. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Meanwhile, BYU signee Nick Emery, who committed to BYU the same day as T.J. Haws, is currently serving a mission in Germany, and will enroll in school for the 2015-16 season.

Last week, Mika was asked about serving a mission.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’ve been planning on a mission my whole life.”

Mika is looking forward to being reunited with his former Lone Peak High teammates at BYU. Mika, Haws and Emery, who were each four-star recruits and led Lone Peak to a high school national championship last year, will play together again in 2016-17.

Brigham Young Cougars center Eric Mika guards Santa Clara Broncos guard Brandon Clark (3) during NCAA action in Provo  Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Brigham Young Cougars center Eric Mika guards Santa Clara Broncos guard Brandon Clark (3) during NCAA action in Provo Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

“It’s going to be fun. Not only are they really good on the court, but we mesh well,” Mika said. “They are some of my best friends from high school. All those guys, the last two years of my high school career, I spent every day with them.”

Carter Williams contributed to this story.

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