For Many Mormon Athletes, Sports Careers Give Way to Church Missions

The common practice by Mormon athletes to postpone their collegiate sports careers to serve missions is often covered in the news media. ESPN reporter Gare Joyce found it to be an extraordinary sacrifice and recently chose a BYU football player to tell that story in ESPN The Magazine.

Romney Fuga was a star high school athlete in his hometown of Huntington Beach, California. At 6'1" and 295 lbs., the defensive tackle was recruited to play for BYU. After a promising first season he postponed his collegiate football career to join the ranks of more than 52,000 young Mormon men and women who serve as missionaries. In doing so, like tens of thousands of other missionaries, he put his social, educational and career plans on hold, leaving behind family and the comforts of home for two years.

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