ALPINE, Utah – Nick Emery's basketball career at BYU will be a lot less complicated than it was for generations of Mormon athletes who came before him.
The 18-year-old point guard is among the first players able to go straight on a two-year mission right after high school under new rules announced last fall by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
With the minimum missionary age for men lowered to 18, from 19, Emery and others will get an uninterrupted career and avoid having to play or redshirt for one year first.
BYU basketball coach Dave Rose says going on a mission right after high school is likely to become the new norm. Some will stay to play a year and go at 19, though, like Emery's high school teammate, Eric Mika.