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BYU women’s basketball: For coach and player, basketball forms a bond

Steed’s 3 ACL tears haven’t stopped her from contributing.

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The desire to help Steed comes from what Haley’s dad, Dorne, himself a high school basketball coach, calls Judkins’ one real flaw.

"It’s a positive weakness," Dorne Hall said. "I always said Juddy is too nice."

At a glance

Haley Steed file

» A Nancy Leiberman Award finalist in 2012, she suffered three ACL tears in her first three seasons at BYU, playing a combined nine games between 2007 and 2009.

» She holds BYU’s single-season record for assists (237) and has now been part of the women’s basketball program for seven of coach Jeff Judkins’ 12 seasons as head coach.

» Judkins began recruiting Steed her sophomore season at Clearfield High School, where she was a four-time all-state selection.

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Maybe Judkins could see what Steed could and has produced — more than nine points, seven assists and four rebounds a game.

The truth is, Steed didn’t want to play for BYU. For reasons she can’t explain, the last uniform Steed wanted to wear was Cougar blue.

Steed’s attitude changed after meeting Judkins and the players at a basketball camp. When Judkins recruited Steed following her first-team, All-State selection as a freshman at Clearfield, he saw visions of championships at BYU.

It’s taken a while, but in 2012, for the first time with Steed on the court, BYU advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

"[Judkins] cares about wins," said Haley’s husband, Bo. "But the bottom line, he cares about the kids making a success in life. He was a large part of what kept Haley going."

Steed, who always had the idea of coaching in the back of her mind, points to Judkins for helping inspire her dream.

"I love basketball so much," Steed said. "If I can say one thing that still surprises me after seven years, I still learn things. I like what he has to say."

Steed embraced what Judkins said in those dark, painful moments back in 2008.

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"For me, I wanted Haley to walk out of here and say this was the greatest experience she’s ever had in her life," Judkins said. "When she got hurt the third time, my feeling was she couldn’t really say that, that she didn’t complete what she came here to do."

It was Judkins who was able to get Steed past the discouragement. Despite her swollen, painful knee, Judkins renewed her desire to try one more time, eventually blossoming into the all-conference player Judkins knew she could become.

"It’s going to be hard not seeing No. 33 out there running around," Judkins said. "I have been really blessed. To have her stick this out, I don’t know too many people who would have done this, especially spending seven years with me."


Twitter: @tribmarty

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