One of the biggest factors in winning a basketball game is energy — both on the court and from the bench. For BYU, the person who brings that energy every game is sophomore forward, Payton Dastrup.

“I’ve grown into what I can contribute when I’m not on the floor, which is just intense energy, positive energy and just getting excited,” Dastrup said.

Dastrup brings energy to the game even when he is not playing. From the bench, you can see him pumping up his teammates throughout the game.

“When you’re relaxed on the sideline and having fun, once you go into the game it translates over, and you’re going to have a lot of positive impacts when you’re playing,” Dastrup said.

That positive impact came during the Cougars’ game against the University of Utah on Dec. 17. When Dastrup stepped onto the court, he had an instant impact.

Within his first few minutes, he took a charge and hit two big 3-pointers to give BYU the lead. His energy efforts stayed strong all game, and the game ended with a victory over their in-state rivals.

“Payton is very expressive, and he’s always very positive,” teammate Yoeli Childs said. “No matter how he’s doing, no matter how many minutes he’s playing, he’s one of those guys that just puts the team ahead of himself, and I think that’s why he’s so likable.”

When asked why he loves cheering from the bench, Dastrup mentioned just one reason: to bring energy to his team. He isn’t doing the crazy things on the sideline to bring attention to himself, despite having videos of his antics go viral on Twitter. He stated he does it to keep the positive energy on the team.

That positive energy is contagious with BYU fans, who have quickly latched on to the 6-foot-10-inch man. With thousands of followers on social media and cheers every time he enters the game, Dastrup is one of the most popular athletes at BYU.

Dastrup has reciprocated the love, attending several BYU sporting events as part of the ROC and cheering on every team on campus, not just basketball.

“He’s awesome with the fans. He’s awesome with the kids before games and after games,” Childs added. “He’s just a really great dude.”

Dastrup has been a BYU fan since birth, and coach Dave Rose said, “no one wants this team to win more than Payton.”

Rose said Dastrup is one of the best teammates he’s coached in his years at BYU.

“On this team, he’s found spots where he’s really helped us and won games for us,” Rose added. “He’s so team-oriented, and he’s always up for whatever the team needs to win. Those are great guys to have around.”

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