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Lauren Gustin returns to BYU for fifth year

The nation’s leading rebounder posted 16.7 boards per contest

NCAA Womens Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs BYU
Lauren Gustin set the BYU record for most rebounds in a season with 552 last year.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Lauren Gustin will remain at BYU for her fifth year as the Cougars enter the Big 12. The decision came as a surprise after Gustin entered the transfer portal to consider other options.

For her last year of eligibility, the Salem, Utah, native felt like she needed to explore other options.

“I knew I wanted to stay in Utah because my family, my support system is here,” she said. “I really want to go after a national championship this year. I was in close contact with another local school, but I ultimately wanted to come back to a place where I felt home for my last year.”

Gustin values the relationships she made with her coach and teammates more than anything at BYU.

“It’s more than just a game,” she said. “I’ve grown so much as a person, both on and off the court and discovered a lot about myself through the sport and the connections I’ve made through it… It’s my final chance to lay it all out there. I’m going to give it everything I have and fight with the girls to win as many games as possible.”

In the upcoming season, Gustin aims to become a bigger threat from the 3-point line.

The 6-foot-1-inch post led the country in rebounding last season with 16.7 boards per contest.

She tabulated 552 rebounds, which broke two-time All-American Tina Gunn’s 43-year-old program record for rebounds in a season. She pulled down 20 or more rebounds 10 times. She was named WCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year this year.

Offensively, Gustin scored 16.1 points a game. The forward scored 30 points in one game twice.

Prior to BYU, she played one season at Salt Lake Community College after attending the University of Idaho for a semester.

“[Idaho] was a bad fit,” she said. “I wasn’t happy, and my mental health was really struggling.”

After those two schools, she landed at BYU, where her mom played.

She began playing basketball between the ages of three and four.

“I always liked the aggressiveness of [the sport],” she said. “I grew up playing a lot of sports—basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball—but stuck with basketball because I liked the contact in it.”

Post-college, the exercise and wellness major seeks a career in the fitness industry. She is open to playing basketball but is also interested in becoming a sports trainer or working in nutrition.