COUGAR TRACKS

Four-Year Experience At BYU Made Yoeli Childs A ‘Cougar For Life’

Mar 18, 2020, 4:04 PM | Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 12:57 am

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s still taking some time getting used to saying Yoeli Childs and former BYU player in the same sentence. But that’s where we are.

Never again will BYU fans get to witness the star forward compete again in a uniform for the Cougars. It’s a tough feeling to shake as there was unfinished business for Childs to achieve the “special” season he and his teammates had set out to do when he shocked everyone that he was coming back for his senior year.

But the season that saw BYU win 24 games was cut short due to the pandemic that is the novel Coronavirus. It wasn’t the ending anyone could have imagined, but it still was a special year for Childs who leaves BYU as the school’s all-time leader in rebounds and sixth in career scoring.

“I think that we obviously hoped for a different kind of special,” said Childs to KSL Sports. “We hoped to make noise in the [NCAA] tournament. And that’s just reality. That’s what we were hoping for and that’s what we wanted. We wanted to go places that no BYU team had ever gone before.

“For the reasons, we thought [this year] would be special, it didn’t happen necessarily. But it’s been special for a lot of other reasons. It’s been special to see the community gather around this team. It’s been special to see the way we fought for each other, the way we sacrificed, the way each player has thrown out individual agendas to make the team better. It’s been special to see the sacrifice and the love in this locker room and with our fan base. It’s definitely a group of guys that I’ll remember forever and for that reason, I feel it was a special year.”

Always have the Growth Mindset

Childs turned down lucrative six-figure offers from professional franchises overseas to play his final year at BYU. It almost doesn’t feel right that a man who turned down big-money offers and lost out on nine games due to an egregious NCAA suspension and another four to a frightening finger injury would lose out on the chance to not play in the NCAA Tournament.

But like anything with Childs, he’s taking it in stride and trying to find the positives going forward.

“It’s sad the way it’s ending and it’s not what we want but it really is kind of an accumulation of what this season has been,” Childs said. “We’re going to grow from this. Throughout this pandemic, the world is going to grow from this, our country is going to grow from this. BYU sports, we’re going to grow from this and as a team, we’re going to grow from this. We’ve built bonds that are going to last a lifetime and we’re just trying to have faith at this time. But like we’ve been saying all season, God’s plan is greater than our plan.”

Impact of the BYU experience on Yoeli Childs

When you talk about what you want to BYU student-athlete to be, it’s hard to not pick someone Yoeli Childs.

A man who embraced everything that BYU strives to be as a university and athletic department but on and off-the-court. Heck, the guy even gave handshakes to every member of the media after each practice availability and postgame press conference. Childs could do it all but the impact BYU had on him will last a lifetime.

“It’s really hard to put into words how much this university means to me and how big of a blessing it’s been to play here,” Childs said to KSL Sports. “[To BYU fans], thank you from the bottom of my heart. The rest of my teammates feel the same way. We felt your love. I personally saw the love of this fan base from the time I committed here and it has been an experience unlike any other I know.

“No matter where I go for the rest of my life, I will hold this experience dear to my heart. BYU is a special place and in my opinion, it’s the greatest place in the world with the greatest fans in the world. It breaks my heart that I’m never gonna be able to play on that court again. But it’s been a heck of a journey. It’s been a ton of fun and I’ll be a Cougar for the rest of my life.”

Yoeli’s career accomplishments

  • 1st in career rebounds: 1,053
  • 5th in career blocks: 159
  • 6th in career scoring: 2,031
  • 2nd in career double-doubles: 45
  • 6th all-time for 20-point games: 45
  • The second player in WCC history to produce 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. The other is former USF Don and NBA star Bill Cartwright.
  • 111 career starts

The full interview with Yoeli Childs on KSL Sports’ Cougar Sports Saturday on KSL NewsRadio can be heard below.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

Cougar Tracks

BYU Football, Zach Wilson, Kalani Sitake, Signing Day...

Mitch Harper

Ranking BYU Football’s Best Players To Sign During The Kalani Sitake Era

The best players to sign with BYU football for Kalani Sitake from high school and the Transfer Portal.

5 months ago

Foster Pavilion, Baylor Bears, BYU Basketball, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Foster Pavilion Was Great Stage For BYU’s First Big 12 Road Game

Baylor's new $212 million home was a great setting for a Big 12 basketball game.

6 months ago

BYU Football, 12-Team Playoff, LJ Martin...

Mitch Harper

Three Things BYU Football Needs To One Day Reach 12-Team Playoff

The 12-team Playoff is coming in college football. What does BYU need to do to one day play in the bracket?

6 months ago

Big 12 Basketball, BYU, Dallin Hall...

Mitch Harper

How Will BYU Basketball Fare In Big 12? Projecting 2024 Order Of Finish

Where will BYU finish in their first season of Big 12 Conference play? Time to make predictions.

7 months ago

BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Mark Pope Lays Out BYU’s Expectations For Inaugural Big 12 Schedule

Big 12 play has arrived for No. 12 BYU Basketball. Mark Pope shares his expectations for conference play.

7 months ago

BYU Basketball, Trevin Knell, Three-Point Shooting...

Mitch Harper

What We Learned About BYU Basketball During Nonconference Play

BYU basketball turns its attention to Big 12 play. But first we take a step back at look at what we learned about the Cougars in nonconference.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Four-Year Experience At BYU Made Yoeli Childs A ‘Cougar For Life’