Married collegiate athletes at Brigham Young University aren’t rare. But at a university like Gonzaga, LDS returned missionary Jesse Wade sticks out.
“He has gladly taken on the label as the old married man of the Zags,” Whitney Ogden, a journalist for The Spokesman-Review, wrote in a recent article. “He and his wife, Jade, are an anomaly not only in the Gonzaga program, but across the NCAA.”
As the Zags prepare to play the Florida State Seminoles tomorrow in the NCAA Tournament, The Spokesman-Review reported on Wade’s busy schedule of "madness" as he attempts to balance basketball, classes and marriage.
Wade, 20, from Kaysville, Utah, is a freshman guard for the Gonzaga Bulldogs who joined the roster this season after returning home from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lyon, France. He and his wife, Jade, 22, from Colchester, England, met on their missions, according to the article.
“Besides the occasional lunch date between classes, finding time for each other, especially during the basketball season, is not an easy task,” Ogden wrote.
Praised by his assistant coach for having “a special level of commitment and maturity,” Wade has found ways to make sure his wife feels part of the Gonzaga family. She didn’t have much of an understanding of basketball prior to their marriage, but now she’s almost like the “team wife,” Jesse Wade said. Jade Wade said her husband’s teammates are like her brothers.
With three more seasons at Gonzaga, it is possible Jesse Wade could add fatherhood to the "madness." Even though his wife was quick to disagree, Wade told Ogden he wouldn’t mind “joining that club of Gonzaga player dads.”