Tanner Toolson said he thinks of his father, Andy, as a BYU legend.
The younger Toolson — the Washington state Mr. Basketball for 2020 — will try to forge his own legacy as a Cougar. He made his college choice live on Instagram Thursday night, picking BYU over Boise State, Utah State and the University of Utah.
“I feel like BYU was a really hard option to turn down because I felt I like fit in system really well,” Toolson told Scorebook Live Washington. “It’s a great spot for me to go to succeed with BYU, keep growing as a player and hopefully be the player I think I can be.”
Toolson — a 6-foot-5 guard — is the son of former BYU great Andy Toolson, who scored 1,388 points during his Cougar career (1984-85, 1987-90) and made 141 3-pointers. The elder Toolson played two seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz and nine years playing professionally overseas. He was an assistant coach under Steve Cleveland at BYU from 2001 to 2005. In 2001, Andy Toolson was inducted into the BYU Sports Hall of Fame.
Tanner Toolson’s older brother, Connor, played for Mark Pope at Utah Valley. His cousin, Jake, also played at Utah Valley for two seasons before transferring to BYU to join Pope for his senior year.
Tanner Toolson set program records at Union High School in points per game (23), total points in a season (645), made field goals (216) and made free throws (139). He helped lead the Titans to an undefeated regular season and a 27-1 overall record as a senior.
“We are so excited to have Tanner join our BYU program,” Pope said. “His trajectory over the last two years has been incredible. He’s got a silky-smooth jumper and has a fire, competitiveness and physicality that will endear him to Cougar fans. Tanner comes from a great basketball family. His father Andy was a BYU legend and played for the Jazz, and his brother Conner was a junior college national champ and a star at UVU. They both had great moments in the Marriott Center — Andy wowed Cougar faithful for four years and Conner was part of a record-setting performance — and knowing Tanner as we do, he’s going to come in and be the best of the three.”
Toolson said the BYU staff made a hard push for his services in mid-April with daily calls. On Tuesday morning, Toolson and his family had a Zoom call with the Cougar staff.
“After the call was over, I knew,” Toolson said. “I was leaning toward them up to the call.”
Toolson attended the same high school as Jordan Chatman, who played at BYU from 2014 to 2016 but finished his career at Boston College.
Toolson has received his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission call to Jacksonville, Florida, and will leave for his two-year service on July 15. He’ll return to Provo for the 2022-23 season and join fellow 2020 commits Dallin Hall (Fremont) and Richie Saunders (Wasatch Academy), who also opted to serve missions before enrolling at BYU.