Gavin Baxter recovers from recent surgery, won’t play upcoming season

Gavin Baxter greets young fans as he walks off the Marriott Center court during his freshman campaign. Baxter will be out for the entire 2019-20 season following an injury in practice. (BYU Photo)

BYU basketball sophomore forward Gavin Baxter will not be on the court with the Cougars this 2019-20 basketball season.

Earlier this month, the sophomore tore his labrum and fractured his right shoulder at practice, an injury that led him to get surgery on Oct. 8. While the surgery went according to plan, his sister Lauren Baxter said he will not be returning for the upcoming season. 

“He won’t be playing this year,” Lauren said. “(He will be) focusing on rehabbing and getting his shoulder back to full strength for next year.”

While the surgery did not come at an ideal moment in his basketball career, Lauren said Gavin has been keeping a great perspective on everything that has happened and is focusing on coming back strong in the following 2020-21 season.

Arianna Davidson
Gavin Baxter dunks the ball during his freshman season. As a freshman, Baxter averaged 4.7 points per game. (Arianna Davidson)

Leaving high school, the Provo native was ranked by ESPN as the No. 5 recruit in Utah. He was heavily recruited by Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Utah State before deciding on BYU.

During his freshman year of college, Gavin averaged 4.7 points per game and an average of 3.1 rebounds with only 14.7 minutes per game of playing time. Gavin also started in eight of the Cougars’ games and played in a total of 30 games throughout the season.

Gavin showed his potential on Feb. 2 when he was the highest scorer at the BYU vs. Loyola Marymount game. During the game, he achieved a career-high single-game total of 25 points.

The BYU Cougars lineup will be interesting come the beginning of the season, as Gavin was believed to be included in the starting five, while senior forward Yoeli Childs waits out his nine-game ineligibility.

Senior Yoeli Childs will start the season on the bench as he faces ineligibility for the first nine games. (Preston Crawley)

Speaking on Gavin’s injury, Childs said the incident seemed minor at practice, but escalated into a larger issue in the time that ensued.

The senior said Gavin’s absence is sobering, especially because Gavin has put in essential time during the off-season to prepare for the upcoming basketball season.

“This summer, Gavin has transformed his body, transformed his mindset,” Childs said.

Although Gavin will not be seen on the court this year, Childs said the BYU basketball team will make sure he feels included in the upcoming season and will push him to contribute off of the court. 

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