Raps' newest players the most pumped up

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

The two most excited players at practice yesterday were rookies Matt Bonner and Rafael Araujo.

When Bonner takes the floor this week, he will become only the second native of New Hampshire to play in the NBA.

"They're going crazy back home," said Bonner, a native of Concord, N.H. "When we play in Boston, it's going to be sold out with New Hampshire people."

Last year, the 6-foot-10 forward was cut and spent the season in Italy. This time he may stick all season.

"You can't put it into words. This is what I've worked for my whole life -- playing in the NBA," he said. "And now the opportunity has arrived.

"There's a lot of stress off my shoulders, but at the same time Ihaven't reached my potential. I'm still going to work really hard," he added.

Araujo, who will come off the bench tonight in relief of starting centre Loren Woods, was also pumped.

"I'll be as excited as my first game in college," he said. "I can't wait."

TOUGH WAY TO START

The Rockets opened up the season last night against defending NBA champions, the Detroit Pistons at the Palace at Auburn Hills, so the Raps will at least have some insight for tonight's game.

"I told them go to home to stick their head on the pillow and go to sleep. But I would think they would want to watch the game on TV? I hope so," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.

NEW SPONSOR

Reebok Canada is the Raptor's newest corporate sponsor. As part of the agreement, Reebok Canada has acquired the naming rights for the Raptors practice facility now known as the RbK Court.


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