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BYU basketball: New commit Gavin Baxter talks about why BYU is the perfect fit

PROVO — BYU wasn’t the first to offer Gavin Baxter a basketball scholarship, but when it did, the 6-foot-7 forward knew it would be an invitation too hard to pass up.

Baxter committed to sign with the Cougar basketball program Monday during an unofficial visit with BYU coach Dave Rose and his staff. He chose BYU after entertaining offers from programs such as UCLA, Arizona State and Utah State.

“I’ve always wanted to play for BYU, and when they offered me, I sort of knew I’d end up there,” Baxter said.

According to Timpview product, BYU came forward with an offer last September, several months after Arizona State and Utah State.

“They had to make sure they had enough scholarship spots before offering with players leaving and coming home from missions and all that,” Baxter explained. “I always knew BYU was interested though and was really hoping it would work out so that they could offer me a spot.”

Baxter was drawn to BYU due to strong ties to the program and Rose’s up-tempo style.

“My parents attended BYU, so it’s been the school I’ve always wanted to go to,” Baxter said. “I really love everything about BYU, so it’s a perfect fit for me.”

Baxter’s mother, Angela, ran track for BYU, which is where Gavin believes he gets the majority of his athleticism, while his father Kurt, provided for his 6-7 height.

As a forward, Baxter possesses the type of athleticism and versatility that should fit in well with BYU’s up-tempo system.

“I don’t like playing in a half-court offense. I like to get out there and run, and that’s what BYU does,” Baxter said. “The system fits me perfectly, and that’s another big reason why I feel BYU is the best program for me.”

Baxter plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU. Upon his return, he’ll join other top recruits, such as Zac Seljaas, TJ Haws, Payton Dastrup and a host of others in attempting to take the program to new levels.

“I’m very excited to play with the great players BYU has coming into the program,” Baxter said. “I really can’t wait to get started. I think we have some great players coming in, so playing with those guys, yeah, that was a big thing in me choosing BYU as well.”

The goal until he joins BYU’s program is to continue to refine his game in coming a complete player. As for his current abilities, Baxter possesses a superior wingspan that could wreak havoc on the defensive end and along with a quick leaping ability.

“I just want to be ready to help out wherever I can after my mission,” Baxter said. “It’s really a great honor for me to have this opportunity, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to help the team in any way that they need.”

Baxter graduates in 2016 and will likely return home in time for the 2018-19 basketball season.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney