Gonzaga University basketball fans seem eager to add a Mormon missionary to their roster next season.
Jesse Wade, a former Davis High star and Deseret News’ 2015 ‘Mr. Basketball,’ committed to play for the Bulldogs before leaving on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France.
Wade was featured in a 4-minute video report by KHQ-TV reporter Sam Adams, who was in Salt Lake City Saturday covering Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed prepared to play Northwestern in the second round.
In the video, Adams interviews members of the Wade family, including Jesse’s parents and sisters. Some of the photos show Wade with BYU guard T.J. Haws, who served in the same mission. His mother, Amanda Wade, said Wade’s missionary experience has been a positive one.
“He’s fulfilling something he’s always wanted to do and has planned on doing his whole life,” she said.
Family members also shared excerpts from Wade’s missionary emails. His little sisters, Kayla and Ellie Wade, read one email indicating that Elder Wade missed holding the family dog, Daisy.
Adams received permission to speak with Elder Wade by phone. In the conversation, the missionary expressed gratitude for the support of the Gonzaga coaches, who he said have encouraged him to remain focused on his mission until it’s over.
“When you are on your mission, you are on your mission,” Elder Wade told Adams. “I’m grateful for their support.”
In conclusion, Adams added that Wade’s basketball skills may be a little rusty.
“I understand he just lost a game of P-I-G to his mission’s president, so we’ll see if he can get back to speed,” the reporter said with a grin.