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PROVO — Sometime in the next eight days, BYU guard TJ Haws will begin to face the biggest challenge of his young life — and it has nothing to do with basketball.
Haws’ wife, Lauren, is expecting the couple’s first child this week, and the young family is planning to induce labor by Super Bowl Sunday, if not before.
Late nights, a crying child, and poopy diapers await the soon-to-be first-time father. But Haws has already been through a tough spell — his entire collegiate basketball career, during which he has never missed a game.
Haws scored 20 points to go along with four assists in the Cougars’ 83-82 loss Saturday at San Francisco for his 123rd consecutive start. The streak breaks Jeff Chatman’s run of 122-straight starts set from 1984-88.
“I think it’s a cool accomplishment,” Haws told BYU Radio. “I just feel so blessed to have been here for four years, to play for this program, to play with so many great guys. It’s been an awesome ride.”
The 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard from Alpine has made a living as the most consistent player of the past four years at BYU. What’s more remarkable is that Haws has done it while moving between guard spots — sometimes at point guard, sometimes at shooting guard — just doing and being what the team needs.
He currently leads the Cougars with 5.0 assists per game, and his 1,752 career points ranks 10th in BYU history. Haws also ranks fourth all-time in 3-pointers made, ninth in steals and fifth in assists.
The former Lone Peak star has done it all without ever missing a game — or even a start — since arriving on campus fresh off a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France.
“I think it’s a cool accomplishment,” Haws said. “I just feel so blessed to have been here for four years, to play for this program, to play with so many great guys. It’s been an awesome ride.”
For 123 games, Haws has been a fixture in the lineup — through bumps, bruises and injuries, some serious (most far from it), but always back by tipoff for the next day.
“I try and take care of my body, on and off the floor,” Haws said. “But I just feel like I’ve been really blessed. There’s stuff that happens in basketball that you have no control over, and I feel like I’ve been really fortunate during my time here.”
Genetics must play a factor in that durability; his brother Tyler Haws, the Cougars’ all-time leading scorer with 2,720 points, also boasts the most starts in BYU basketball history with 137.
Father Marty ranks No. 24 with 1,337 points in 123 games from 1986-90, and seventh with 502 career assists.
“It must be something in his Haws DNA,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “Marty and Tiffanie Haws must be extraordinary people because their boys are incredible. Tyler just refused to be denied and worked harder than anybody I had ever been around in my life.
“TJ is way different than Tyler, but he has the same insides. The fact that TJ is trying to peak through that door is pretty special.”