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BYU’s Spencer Johnson Questionable Against K-State As He Prepares To Become Father

Feb 22, 2024, 5:26 PM

BYU Basketball, Spencer Johnson, Kansas State...

The status of BYU basketball starter Spencer Johnson is questionable entering Saturday's game against Kansas State because his wife went into labor. (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball forward Spencer Johnson missed practice on Thursday, two days before the Cougars trip to Kansas State.

But he missed for a good reason.

Johnson is about to become a father for the first time.

Spencer Johnson, wife Isabella “Issy” set to welcome first child

On Thursday, Johnson’s wife, Isabella “Issy” Johnson (née Yates), entered labor a week earlier than their projected February 29 due date with the couple’s first child.

BYU travels to Manhattan, Kansas, on Friday to take on Kansas State for the second time in two weeks.

Will Johnson, the lone player on BYU’s roster to start every game this season, be on that flight?

“We’ll see,” said BYU coach Mark Pope on Thursday. “I’d hate to say something and have it be wrong because that happens way too often.”

Johnson did make a brief appearance at the end of Thursday’s practice. After the 25th-ranked Cougars wrapped up practice inside the Marriott Center, Johnson called BYU’s Director of Basketball Operations Nate Austin and spoke with the team on FaceTime.

Mark Pope does have a history of having players with fatherhood on their minds during a season.

Four years ago, during Mark Pope’s first season as BYU’s head coach, former BYU guard TJ Haws hit a game-winner against Saint Mary’s one night before his wife went into labor.

Maybe Johnson, college basketball’s oldest player (26), can pull off something similar this weekend at Kansas State if he makes the trip.

Regardless, Pope is excited for the Johnsons for are going to have a boy.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time right now for Spence and it’s almost unbelievable,” Pope said. “He’s been on FaceTime with everybody on the team and multiple times last night and today. It’s almost incomprehensible. Think about it. Baylor on Tuesday, firstborn son on Thursday, Kansas State on Saturday, and Kansas on Tuesday. Could you have a better life? So it’s pretty exciting.”

Johnson is averaging 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists this season.

No. 25 BYU vs. Kansas State

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Location: Bramlage Coliseum

Tip-Off: Noon (MT)/1 p.m. (CT)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Pregame begins at 11 a.m.)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s Spencer Johnson Questionable Against K-State As He Prepares To Become Father