Last May, Stansbury High School announced that it had named a new head coach for the school’s boys basketball program. Replacing long-time coach Joe White will be Payton Dastrup, who was previously on Timpview High’s boys basketball coaching staff.
As a newcomer at Stansbury, Dastrup took the opportunity to meet with Coach White to gain insight into the team he inherited and the culture from the school and community alike.
“I had a chance to meet with him about a week after I got hired,” he said. “We chatted about the ins and outs of what he felt he could give me, in terms of information.”
As someone who is prevalent in the community, White’s reputation preceded him and Dastrup said everyone he met had nothing but praise for the coach who oversaw the school’s best season in 2021. Now that Dastrup is at the helm, he said that he’s been handed the “keys to the kingdom” in his capacity as coach.
“I’m super privileged to be entrusted with that from the school and the community,” Dastrup said. “The thing that stood out to me the most, when it came to talking about the program, was that the kids are really good and they play really hard.”
An Arizona native, Dastrup played his high school basketball in Mesa before attending college at Oregon State. After two years, he transferred to BYU to finish his college career. Dastrup had aspirations to go pro in Europe, and was nearly signed by a team in Serbia in 2021.
However, a trip to Puerto Rico, with his then girlfriend Arleigh, changed Dastrup’s career trajectory, as the two hit it off during the trip and Dastrup saw it as a sign that she was the one he wanted to share his life with.
“I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made to start a family,” he said. “We have an almost 11-month-old daughter, who’s going to be running around practice if she gets a chance to come out.
“My wife has been an awesome support system, letting me chase my dream of being a coach,” Dastrup said.
Dastrup has a philosophy that he teaches his students, both on the court and in the classroom, that centers around the psychological concepts of “growth zone” and “comfort zone” as a way to build up skill levels and cohesion as a group.
“You can’t grow if you’re comfortable,” he said. “I probably won’t have five threatening scorers on the floor at all times, but I better have five dogs on defense that are going to go out and wreak havoc, dive on the floor and do stuff that people don’t feel comfortable doing.”
In doing so, he added, the hard work and tenacity will become infectious and help the players rally around one another.
“Once one person does it, the next person does and once we build that snowball of energy everyone’s going to be doing it in practice and it’s going to translate into games.”
Though the team participated in a tournament in June, and another tournament in October, Dastrup’s season with his team officially begins on Nov. 15, when Stansbury hosts the Mountain Crest Mustangs in a non-region game.