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Rafael Paulo Araújo [pronounced ha-fai-YEL ah-rah-OO-zho/ah-ROO-zho] (born August 12 1980 in Curitiba, Brazil) is a professional basketball player in the NBA currently with the Toronto Raptors.

College career 編輯

After attending Padre Anacleto High School in São Paulo, Araújo came to the United States to play college basketball, attending Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona. In his freshman season (2000-01), he averaged 12.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. As a sophomore, he tallied 17.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, leading the Matadors to a 28-3 record and a top ten national ranking among junior colleges. He was named Region Most Valuable Player and 2nd Team NJCAA All-American.

After finishing his junior college career, Araújo moved to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where as a junior (2002-03), he averaged 12.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game (second in the Mountain West Conference). In his senior season, Araujo established himself as one of best big men in the NCAA, leading BYU in scoring (18.4 points per game), rebounding (10.1 rebounds per game), steals (43 total), and blocked shots (25). He was named Co-Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference, sharing the honor with Air Force's Nick Welch. He was named 2nd Team NCAA All-American by Basketball Times.

With his size and strength, the 6-foot-11, 290-pound Araújo impressed many pro scouts during his senior season. On December 6, 2003, he dominated a tough Oklahoma State team, totaling 32 points and 17 rebounds in BYU's 76-71 upset victory. He concluded his collegiate career with a 24-point, 12-rebound performance in the Cougars' 80-75 loss to Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament.

Professional career編輯

The Toronto Raptors selected Araújo with the eighth pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, making him the first college senior drafted that year. His NBA career has been mostly disappointing thus far with him seeing limited action as a rookie, averaging 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game. He scored a career-high 14 points against the Golden State Warriors (January 9, 2005), and matched that total against the Sacramento Kings (November 25, 2005).

In the 2005-2006 season, he again had a disappointing year and had trouble getting playing time, averaging 11.6 mins a game, 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting a dismal 36.6% from the field.

Trivia編輯

  • He is referred to by the nickname "Hoffa", a shortened version of his pronounced first name.

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