BYU-Idaho is not generally known or acclaimed for it’s sports programs, but to Craig Spjute, a Division I athlete at Boise State University, that did not matter.
Cody Spjute, a 21-year-old sophomore studying business management, attended and played basketball at Boise State University his freshman year of college.
Spjute led his high school team to a 50-2 record during his last two years of high school, and also to back-to-back Idaho 5A State Championships, according to broncosports.com.
“I’ve played basketball since first grade,” Spjute said. “A couple of my younger brothers played as well, and we all just played against each other growing up on different teams, so I’ve played since I was little.”
Spjute said he also played football from fourth grade to his sophomore year of high school and competed in the high jump for track his senior year.
Spjute said before he left on a mission to San Diego, California, some schools talked to him about playing basketball, but he decided to serve a mission before he began college.
“I came back and my dad had talked to Boise State, and they said that I could have a walk-on spot, which was pretty cool ‘cause I didn’t have to try out or anything, but I still wasn’t sure,” Spjute said.
Other schools in Washington and in Oregon also talked to Spjute and offered him scholarships.
“It came down to BYU-I and Boise State, and just how things worked out, I chose to go to Boise State,” Spjute said.
Spjute said he enjoyed his time playing basketball at Boise State, despite being the only member of the Church playing on the team.
“The guys were super cool, and the coaches were super understanding with our standards,” Spjute said. “They all knew I was Mormon and knew that I believed it and lived it.”
Spjute said he never went to parties with the team, but they were good friends and stayed that way the whole season.
“I mainly just went to practice, and then I’d just go back to the institute building and hang out with my dad,” Spjute said.
Spjute said that one of the big factors in choosing Boise State was that he did not want to play on Sundays.
“I went and talked to one of the coaches and asked him how often they did stuff on Sunday,” Spjute said.
Spjute said the coach told him a majority of the time they didn’t do anything on Sundays, but that he would have to talk to the head coach.
He said he had made up his mind that he did not want to play on Sundays and thought that it would be an answer to his prayers.
“I get a call one morning and one of the coaches talked to me and they were like, ‘Hey so we understand what you believe and we don’t expect you to be here on Sunday, so it’s OK if we have practices or games, you don’t have to come,’ so I took that as an answer to prayer and decided to go to Boise State,” Spjute said.
Spjute said after one season, which he redshirted, meaning he did not play to save a year of eligibility, he decided that BYU-I was the place where he wanted to be.
Spjute said leaving basketball behind was a hard choice, but he enjoys his time here as well.
“I have a lot more friends here, my brother’s here, there’s a lot more girls I can date as well,” Spjute said. “It’s just a good place to be and it just seemed like the right choice.”
Spjute said he is excited for intramural basketball season and for the chance to show his skills to BYU-I.
“Here the tallest guys are like 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8,” Spjute said. “I mean, I’m not in as good of shape as I was back when I was playing, but it helps to have played college basketball.”
Spjute said he is looking forward to using those skills he learned in Division I basketball on the court at BYU-I.