Bryce Harper, an outfielder for the Washington Nationals, is having a good season.
The Mormon from Las Vegas recently played in the MLB all-star game and is hitting .282 with eight homers and 25 RBIs.
Harper was recently featured in a USA Today piece by Bob Nightengale. In the article, Nightengale addresses the “Clown question, bro,” Harper’s path to professional baseball, his perceived cockiness, and even mentions his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Harper, a Mormon who doesn’t drink and insists he’ll never touch a drop of alcohol in his life, can’t go out with most of his teammates at night. Even if he’s not drinking, he’s not old enough to enter a nightclub,” the article states. “He lives alone, and if not listening to country music or watching sports, will study the Food Channel, determining which restaurants to visit on the road.”
Harper says breakfast is his favorite meal of the day.
“I love breakfast, especially pancakes,” Harper told Nightengale. “So I try to go out and find get best breakfast and lunch spots. That’s my thing.”
He likes the Breakfast Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is learning to cook for himself and once in a while, he even permits himself to enjoy a good hamburger.
Another Latter-day Saint athlete in Arizona is Jordan Bachynski, a 7-foot-2 center for the Arizona State basketball team.
Bachynski and athletes who serve missions were the topic of an article in the East Valley Tribune this week. The enormous Mormon served in Miami, Fla., before coming to ASU to play basketball.
The article, by Mark Heller, examines athletes who put sports on hold for missionary service and why they do it. Bachynski said it’s a decision that goes beyond the hoop ramifications.
“Going on a mission is not an easy thing,” Bachynski told Heller. “It’s not just putting basketball on hold, it’s putting life on hold. We don’t get to date. I only got to call my parents four times over two years. But you learn life lessons that are invaluable and you meet people that change your life. Leaving basketball — and I love the sport — was not an easy thing to do, but I wouldn’t trade my mission experiences for anything.”