Feb 012005
Authors: Laura Epple

Vital Stats:

* Name: Jonathan Daniel Rakiecki (pronounced: Ra_key_key)

* Year: Senior

* Height: 6'3"

* Position: Guard

* Number: 10

* High School: Fruita-Monument

* Fun fact: Shares his birthday with Gweneth Paltrow and Hilary Duff

The tattoo inscribed upon Jon Rakiecki's left upper bicep reveals a lot of attributes exuded by this senior CSU guard, despite its simplicity.

"It's my last name, a basketball and my favorite bible verse," said Rakiecki.

The last name, likely mispronounced by every sportscaster, reporter and teacher since kindergarten, is of Eastern European origin and translates to "kin of crab."

The basketball is pretty self-explanatory, and it aptly depicts the focused labors of the bible verse beneath it.

"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." (Proverbs 13.4)

From the energy Rakiecki radiates on the court, it is evident that he does not fall into the "sluggard" category. Despite the fact that he was sidelined in all but four of his sophomore-season games, Rakiecki needs only one more 3-pointer to net himself a spot on CSU's top 10 in buried 3-pointers.

Rakiecki leads the Rams from downtown this season and is averaging 1.61 per game to rank 10th in the Mountain West Conference. He also tops the team in assists and steals and is ranked third in the MWC with his 90.9 percent accuracy from the charity strip.

It is no wonder that he literally ran out of his shoes one time in a game.

"My freshman year, I was wearing old, ripped-up shoes. I went to cut and my shoe just blew out and my foot was sticking out. They had to call a timeout," Rakiecki said of his most awkward moment on the court.

In an attempt to avoid these experiences, Rakiecki said that he is a superstitious person. He owns up to the fact that he needs a cup of coffee before every game and reties his shoes at least three times prior to tip-off.

"From the time I wake up to the time the game starts, I'm always doing something," Rakiecki said.

A few teammates agree that Rakiecki has his eccentricities. "He is really, really ticklish," said senior center Matt Nelson, "And pale. He can sunburn in five minutes or less."

Along with this amazing capability, Rakiecki hides secret talents for speaking Russian and playing the piano.

"I was really good at piano when I was little," he said. "I bet if I practiced for awhile I could get it back."

Despite his flair for piano, Rakiecki advocates a guitar man as his preferred musical artist. John Mayer tops his list, with "Clarity" being his favorite song.

In other forms of entertainment, "Above the Rim" is this guard's fitting favorite movie, and he said that he favors anything his mom cooks when it comes to food.

Although Rakiecki drives a Toyota Camry at the moment, he will eventually be four-wheeling in a black Land Rover, his future vehicle of choice. This type of transportation goes well with his self-described "avid, outdoorsman" personality. Rakiecki said that he loves to fish, camp and hunt when he has free time.

If he were to have a super power, Rakiecki said that he would like to be able to read the future. This is a bit paradoxical given his history major at CSU. However, if this ability were possible, Rakiecki might see himself continuing his basketball career in Europe somewhere after he graduates. Eventually, he aspires to coach college ball.

Given his diligence thus far, it will be a surprise if his efforts do not reap the success that he desires. Rakiecki epitomizes the three artistic elements inked on his skin. Together they are a unification of the person he is, where he wants to go and the words that remind him how to get there.


 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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