If Lauren Gustin were a couch-potato teenager who liked to play video games, eat junk food and habitually wake up late, she still might have some kind of DNA that would enable her to hit a 12-foot jump shot.

But she’s far from that. Well, except for putting a basketball through the net.

Blessed with athleticism, which seems to be a family trait, Gustin also has a devotion to practice, weight training and nutritional intake that borders more on the maniacal considering her interest level in these areas.

And the work has paid off.

Gustin finished the 2017-18 girls’ basketball season averaging 29.3 points per game. Since she averaged 29.9 minutes, that was almost a point-per-minute clip. And the rebounding numbers were big, too. Grabbing 17 rebounds would be a statement game for most players, but that (17.2 rpg) was her season average.

And to top it off, Gustin led Salem Hills to its first girls’ state basketball championship.

“It was an unbelievable season,” she said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Every year, you always have that goal. We worked really hard. We knew that if we gave 100 percent, we were going to have good results.”

This season’s result actually was Gustin’s second straight state basketball championship. She moved with her family to Arizona last year, when her father’s job required him elsewhere. She was part of the Class 5A state winning team in Arizona, helping Mesquite High finish 31-1 during the 2016-17 season.

She returned to Utah for her senior season, where she and her fellow Skyhawks at Salem Hills went 24-1 and earned a 57-35 victory over Hurricane in the Class 4A state title game.

“We both worked extremely hard, each team,” Gustin said when comparing the two. “The Arizona team, we probably beat teams by a lot more. It was a lot closer here in Utah.”

Gustin plans to continue playing at the University of Idaho.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s a little different part than where I come from, but I love it up there.”

If Utah is the current family home and Arizona was a temporary one, Idaho represents the first home base for the Gustin family.

Her father, John Gustin, was originally from Boise before he went on to play quarterback at the University of Wyoming. Her mother, Scarlett Overly Gustin, was a girls’ basketball player of the year at Meridian High, also near Boise, before she played for two years at BYU.

John’s sister, Amberli, was an Idaho prep player of the year at Borah High before she also played at BYU. James Nelson, who led Salem Hills to the school’s first boys’ state basketball championship, is Amberli Gustin Nelson’s son.

With all that family history, Lauren Gustin still has made some strides — at least according to her mother.

“I do have to say that Lauren is heads and tails above in how she handles pressure than how I feel like I did as a player,” Scarlett Gustin said. “It’s just really rewarding and fun to be in the stands and be part of that. She’s pretty level-headed.

“She’s pretty intense and feisty out there, but she definitely gets the job done. She really is mature and handles pressure so well.”

One of the most developed parts of Lauren’s life is her strict adherence to a regular workout routine and diet.

“It depends, but usually I’ll do cardio in the morning then I’ll go to school,” Lauren Gustin said. “Then I’ll come home, then go to the gym for a couple of hours, go home to eat. Sometimes go shoot at night.”

Weightlifting is part of the regimen. And Lauren said she’s influenced in that area by older brother Porter Gustin, who will be a senior on the USC football team this fall.

“I’ll go every day for like two hours.” she said. “That’s kind of where I like to be. Porter was really big into lifting. He is actually the one that got me going into it. Whenever he’s in town, we’ll go lift together.”

Sitting at a fast-food restaurant for an interview, Lauren Gustin notes that she hasn’t had a hamburger in “a long time.”

She prefers relaxing by watching a movie — “That’s pretty much all I do on the weekends: Work out and watch movies” — but even her choice in movies matches her style of play.

“She’s definitely a thrill-seeker when it comes to movies,” Scarlett Gustin said.


School • Salem Hills

Year • Senior

Position • Forward

Height • 6 feet

College choice • University of Idaho


2017 • Taylor Moeaki, American Fork

2016 • Hailey Bassett, Layton

2015 • Lindsey Jensen, Sky View

2014 • Kailie Quinn, Judge Memorial