Latter-day Saint Life

‘We want [to] make a statement’: BYU women’s basketball player on representing the Church in March Madness

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Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

After a stellar regular season, the BYU women’s basketball team is heading to the 2022 NCAA Tournament. This year’s No. 6 seed for BYU is the highest ranking the team has ever been given for the tournament, and they have big dreams for the “big dance.”

Latter-day Saint and star sophomore guard for BYU, Shaylee Gonzales, told Church News, “Ever since the beginning of the season, we’ve been ‘cheering’ for the Final Four. We want to get to the Final Four. We want to go deep in the tournament and make a statement.”

As a 15-year-old high school student, BYU offered Gonzales an athletic scholarship, and she was grateful for an opportunity to play for and attend school in an environment that would help her grow spiritually, too. She told Church News, “[That] was very important for me. … It’s an honor to wear the BYU jersey [knowing] you are representing the school and the Church.”

The Cougars finished out the season with a No. 15 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll and a record of 26 wins and 3 losses, winning every home game and only losing one in-conference game. Their first tournament game will be played against No. 11 seed Villanova on Saturday, March 19, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If the Cougars win their first game, they will face either No. 3 Michigan or No. 14 American University on Monday, March 21.

You can read the full feature story about Gonzales on Church News here.

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