Rafael Araujo, BYU’s center, went a surprisingly high #8 in the draft. Good for him. He also got BYU some surprisingly good publicity.
That has not always been the case. Araujo is a bit of a bruiser, which is why we fans love him but also why a few unfortunate photos of him decking opponents have popped up in newspapers around the Mountain West. Even worse, he has tattoos.
But yesterday he had his name called #8, by the Toronto Raptors, and he went on the ESPN cameras grinning. They asked him about going from showing up in the country with a t-shirt, jeans, and $20, to being in the NBA. ‘Hard work pays off,’ he said, and credited his wife. Next ESPN went into the audience to his wife, Cheyenne, and baby and parents. She was great too, modestly waiving off her getting up before 6 am to rebound for his practices. No other married couples were drafted that I could see. Perfect.
Interesting side note: Rafael Araujo is not LDS, though his wife is. She wanted him to go to a better basketball school than the Y but he preferred its family atmosphere.
Funniest Araujo draft comment: see here
Defensive caveat: I am not one of these anti-anti-beard and anti-anti-tattoo people that the bloggernacle and the tabernet seem to swarm with.