One goal keeps BYU’s Garrett Gee going with soccer

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A goal scored at a BYU men’s soccer game meant more than just one tick on the scoreboard for the player behind it.

Despite growing pressure to quit soccer and school, BYU soccer player Garrett Gee decided to stay on the team because of his first goal for the men’s soccer team.

Garrett Gee attempts to outrun a Utah player against Utah. Photo by Sarah Hill
Garrett Gee attempts to outrun a Utah player. Photo by Sarah Hill

Gee, a junior from Alpine, is also the co-founder of the Scan app. As his idea evolved into a successful startup, investors pressured him to drastically change his life in order to devote more time to the company.

“Chris Redlitz, one of our investors, agreed to a $1.7 million deal, but he wanted me to move to San Francisco, quit school and stop playing soccer,” Gee said.

It was an opportunity to build the company, and Gee didn’t want to be selfish and hold his business partners back. He felt torn. Scan was his first priority, yet he didn’t want to quit playing BYU soccer, especially after trying two times to make the team’s roster in the past.

“Most everyone is a recruit out of high school, but that wasn’t the case for me, so it was horribly hard trying to make it on the team,” he said.

Once Gee made the team, he earned his spot with hard work and positivity.

“When he was first on the team he had to earn his spot, and he’s proven himself over and over again,” said BYU assistant coach Chad Sackett.

In the final game of Gee’s first Pacific Division League season, and in the wake of Redlitz’s advice to quit school, BYUtv announcers began to discuss Gee’s business endeavors. At that moment, Gee scored his first career goal at BYU.

“I waited all season for it,” Gee said. “That’s what you play for; that’s what you live for. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Gee’s sister immediately alerted him to the significance of the goal in combination with the announcers’ comments through a text message.

“I felt like it was a sign to keep playing,” Gee said. “The goal had so much meaning to me. It really did shift the direction of my life. I was fully prepared to leave soccer behind and focus on grownup things.”

Gee sent a recording of the goal to Redlitz, who changed his mind and invested in Scan. Redlitz said he was inspired by Gee’s determination to play soccer.

“I told him that this was me and that this was my passion,” Gee said. “Our company was talked about on an international television station. It was great exposure.”

Choosing to work on Scan while attending school and playing for BYU keeps Gee’s life very busy.

On a typical day, soccer practice begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 9 a.m.

“It’s really easy to obsess over a startup,” Gee said. “I’ve seen people’s health tank, so soccer is a good balance because it provides good exercise.”

Between a full class load and working on Scan for 50-60 hours each weak, Gee is awake until midnight most nights. Lucky for him, he also has narcolepsy.

“Everyone thought it was a problem, so I wasn’t allowed to drive after dark when I was younger, but it’s kind of a blessing in my life,” he said.

It’s a blessing because Gee requires very little sleep. His sleeping is so efficient that he can feel fully refreshed after only four or five hours.

Less sleep means more time to develop his company. Within the last week, Scan just introduced QR codes that enable charities to accept donations.

“The Girl Scouts will start using it on Tuesday,” Gee said cheerfully. “Now people don’t have to pay with a check or cash. They can donate right from their Smartphone.”

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