PROVO — Jesse Wade’s journey has brought him back to his home state and, specifically, to BYU.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard from Kaysville announced via Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he will join the Cougars after spending two years on a mission in France and one season at Gonzaga, a West Coast Conference rival of BYU.
As per NCAA transfer rules, Wade will sit out next season and he has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
“From Kaysville to France to Spokane, I’m extremely grateful for the places that my life has taken me and the people that I have met,” Wade wrote. “With that being said, I’m excited to say that I have decided to come home and further my basketball career and education at BYU!”
Cougar guard TJ Haws served with Wade in the France Lyon Mission. Though they weren’t companions, they spent considerable time together talking and getting to know each other.
“He was a great missionary. He’s fun to be around,” Haws said last season before a BYU-Gonzaga game. “His French was awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
Wade was named the 2015 Deseret News Mr. Basketball after scoring 1,367 points at Davis High and averaging 26.8 points per game as a senior. He committed to play for Gonzaga in 2013.
Wade averaged 1.3 points in 20 games last season for the Zags. He logged a season-high 19 minutes against Incarnate Word and scored a season-high nine points against Howard.
When No. 6 Gonzaga visited Provo last season, Wade received a warm welcome from a contingent of fans, including BYU students, that chanted his name during the Bulldogs’ 79-65 victory.
Wade’s sister, Olivia, will enroll this fall to play for the BYU women’s soccer team. She was the 2016 5A MVP and a USA Today All-American in 2015.
During his brief stay at Gonzaga, Jesse Wade played a role in the BYU-Gonzaga rivalry.
The fact Wade is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission prompted administrators at Gonzaga, a Jesuit school, to encourage students to avoid wearing white shirts and ties and bicycle helmets to playfully mock LDS missionaries during BYU-Gonzaga games.
When the Cougars played at The Kennel last February, the students complied.
BYU coach Dave Rose has said in the past that he and his staff recruited Wade when he was in high school.
At the time, the Cougars had already offered scholarships to several guards, including Frank Jackson, who ended up playing at Duke for one season and is now playing in the National Basketball Association.
Gonzaga announced Wade’s decision to transfer June 1.28 comments on this story
“I want to thank everyone who has made my time at Gonzaga such a memorable time in my life,” Wade said. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the culture at Gonzaga and for all of the incredible memories that I was able to share with such amazing people around me. I want to start off by thanking Coach Few, Coach Daniels, Coach Michaelson, and Coach Lloyd for all of the support throughout the year and especially during this process. I also want to thank our incredible group of managers for all the extra time they spent helping me get better.
“As well, I want to thank the incredible fan base at Gonzaga for the overwhelming support over the last few years and for always being there for me. Lastly, I want to thank my teammates for being there for me through it all. A year ago I walked onto campus with only having one brother in my brother Josh, but I’m leaving with 13 more who will be my brothers forever. Gonzaga will always have a special place in my heart.”