Three Hoopsters Get Y Awards

Mike Hall wowed crowds with his dunking prowess. He earned the Play of the Day award for his dunk over Air Force's Nick Welch. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Three Brigham Young University men's basketball players were honored Wednesday evening at the 2004 Y Awards Ceremony for outstanding performance during this past season.

Rafael Araujo, who is quickly becoming one of the more recognizable basketball figures from his native Brazil, was named Male Athlete of the Year. His larger-than-life presence in the paint attracted national attention all season long from sports writers, fans, and scouts alike. Rafael, who led all Cougar's in scoring and rebounds in 2004, was voted Co-Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference. He was also named a second team All-American by Basketball Times.

The Cougar club honored senior Mark Bigelow for his leadership and competitiveness on the court by giving him the Dale McCann Spirit of Sport Award. Bigelow wrapped up his final year of eligibility at BYU leading the Cougars to their third NCAA tournament appearance in the last four years.

A new Y Award for 2004 was the Play of the Year. The inaugural winner of the new award was Mike Hall, whose ability to take the ball to the basket provided for numerous dunk opportunities throughout the season. Hall gained this latest recognition for a high-flying slam-dunk over Air Force's Nick Welch back in February in the Marriott Center. Guests at the awards banquet watched the award-winning highlight that ESPN's Sports Center named its top play of the day.

The Y Awards, which are new this year, are a unique award voted on by BYU athletes themselves to determine the top performers from the past year.

Other 2004 Y Award winners were:

Assistant Coach of the Year--Bronco Mendenhall

Lu Wallace Award--Aleisha Rose

Rookie of the Year--Claire Thomas

Head Coach of the year--Brad Cattermole

Deseret book Female Athlete of the Year--Aleisha Rose

Ed Stein Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award--Fernando Pessoa

Cougar Club Memorial Award--Lindsay Metcalf

The Crowd Pleaser Award--Brogan Jacobson

The Crowd Pleaser Award--Carlos Moreno

Walk-On of the Year Award--Ulia Crabbe

Floyd Johnson Service Award--Jeff Hopkinson

Volunteer of the Year--Don and Elaine Davis

Leona Holbrook Spirit of Service Award--Sahara Castillo

Kimball Memorial Award--Todd Mortensen

Team of the Year Award--men's volleyball team

Team of the year--woman's soccer team

Dale Rex Memorial Award--President Merrill J. Bateman