Gordon Hayward Embraces Utah, Is Ready for Next Season

by Hayley Byrnes

Gordon Hayward hasn’t had a lot of time to rest this offseason, but that’s more of a blessing than anything his family could have hoped for. He and his wife Robyn welcomed their second daughter, Charlotte “Charlie” Margaret Hayward into the world over a month ago.

Earlier this week however, Hayward took the time to let Jazz fans know how he came to the decision to skip going to Rio with Team USA and how he’s predominantly focused on the Jazz.

In the post which he wrote for his personal blog, Hayward addresses why he skipped the Olympics and how staying behind in Utah was the right thing for him and the Jazz.

“Making the decision to not join USA Basketball in Rio and represent my country in the Olympics was one of the most difficult choices I’ve ever had to make.

It was truly an honor for them to invite me to be on the team. Playing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine from a young age. I always imagined being part of the opening ceremonies, where you walk with your country, and just experiencing that whole thing, being able to interact with some of the athletes from the U.S., and other countries, and be a part of that,” Hayward wrote.

Hayward, who had his best season with the Jazz averaging 19.7 points, 5 rebounds and 3.7 assists, shared his goals for the upcoming Jazz 2016-17 season.

“I also wanted to spend the summer in Utah and commit to training. We have a big year ahead of us with the Jazz. I want us to make the playoffs this year, and I’ve been training since May to help make that happen. You miss a big chunk of that vital training time before camp when you go to do something like play in the Olympics, and it kind of changes up your routine. I want to be the best player I can be to get us to the playoffs. I want to be an All-Star this year.

Those things are important to me. I felt the best place to be to achieve those goals was Utah. I also looked at the fact that I’m only 26 years old, and I feel like if my career goes the way I want it to, I will get another opportunity to play in the Olympics,” Hayward wrote.

Needless to say, Jazz fans were excited to read about Hayward’s passion for Utah. Here are some of the fan tweets:

Want to show your support for Hayward and the Jazz this coming season? Single game tickets are now available. Be there!

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