Skyler Halford may have seen BYU coach Dave Rose watching one of his basketball games during his high school days.
But last winter's outings were wholly different. Rose was out to actually watch him.
A Utah County product with no scholarship sniff from BYU out of high school, Halford now finds himself close to home after receiving one from the Cougars.
It came after a couple of years at Salt Lake Community College.
"My mom was pretty funny about it," Halford said in a recent interview with the Daily Herald. "She joked how 'the coach Rose' was at my games. She's a big BYU fan."
Halford walked on at Utah State, then served an LDS mission. The plan, he said, was to try and return to be an Aggie at some point. Like, after his two-year church service, or perhaps just spending one year at SLCC.
Neither, however, worked out. He said there were a couple of offers from Big Sky Conference members (an in-state member is Weber State), but nothing that enticed him enough to leave Taylorsville.
He still was happy with his development.
Halford earned NJCAA All-America first-team honors and was named the Region 18 MVP and Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
He led SLCC to a record of 29-5 overall, the SWAC and the Region 18 titles and to the round of 16 in the NJCAA Tournament. The former Timpanogos High player averaged 17.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, four assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 46 percent from the field.
A young score-first point guard during his high school days, Halford credited his time at SLCC to turning him into "more of a facilitator."
That means passing, but also being a stronger rebounder — able to secure the ball and then run, which could be important to keep up with his point-guard competition: returned missionary Kyle Collinsworth and junior incumbent Matt Carlino both have a knack for crashing the boards before running the offense.
BYU recently had junior-college transfer Raul Delgado transfer to Metro State of Denver, a Division II school, in search of more playing time (plus the move down a level afforded him two years to play, not just one, and not having to sit out a season).
Halford said he was not aware that Delgado was considering to leave Provo, and that it didn't affect his decision to consider or ignore BYU. He believes his adjustment to BYU will be aided by already having the one redshirt year at Utah State.
And it's not like the 6-foot-1 Halford totally came out of nowhere from years ago. He was the second-leading scorer in Class 5A his senior year of high school, averaging 23.6 points. That put him in the company of college standouts C.J. Wilcox (Pleasant Grove to Washington) and new teammate Tyler Haws (Lone Peak).
"To be honest, I wouldn't change anything in my route," Halford said. "It's been fun. An interesting road."