Craig Morgan of FOXSports Arizona penned an interesting story over the weekend about Jordan Bachynski.
Bachynski is the Sun Devil’s 7-foot-2 center that just so happens to be Mormon. Bachynski took a Mormon mission to Miami, where he spent two years in some rough, spanish-speaking neighborhoods in an effort to share his faith.
And as you might imagine, this led to some interesting interactions with the locals:
While Bachynski remained open to everyone he met, not everyone was receptive to his testimony.
“I remember talking to people and have them just go off on me — get really rude and mean,” Bachynski said. “Some of the things they said I had to look up in a Spanish dictionary, because I didn’t know what they meant. I actually got an urban dictionary to understand some of the things they were saying. My vocabulary definitely grew.”
Once in a while, he’d connect. One man turned his life around, joined the church and eventually persuaded his skeptical and critical mother to join as well. Another left a prominent and violent gang to do the same.
“Those are the moments that make it all worth it — all the spitting in your face and the door slamming and the long days where no one listens to you,” he said.
Sounds less than ideal, but, as Bachynski told Kyle Odegard of the Easy Valley Tribune, it’s something that he has always looked forward too and will always remember.
“Going on a mission is not an easy thing,” Bachynski said. “It’s not just putting basketball on hold, it’s putting life on hold. We don’t get to date. I only got to call my parents four times over two years. But you learn life lessons that are invaluable and you meet people that change your life. Leaving basketball — and I love the sport — was not an easy thing to do, but I wouldn’t trade my mission experiences for anything.”
Bachynski seems like a very likeable kid, but that is far from the most interesting part of his story.
According to Morgan, Bachynski has size 14 feet. As someone that is 7-foot-2. That just seems so disproportional. By comparison, Shaq wears size 23 shoes.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.