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