The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has inducted former star point guard Elfrid Payton into the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Hall of Fame class is normally inducted each year during Homecoming Weekend, but due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, traditional celebrations were moved up.
Payton, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard from John Ehret High, averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists in his final season for the Cajuns before he entered the 2014 NBA Draft.
Payton ended up being selected 10th overall by the Philadelphia Sixers in the 2014 NBA Draft that later turned into a draft day trade in which Payton became a member of the Orlando Magic to begin his professional career. He is the only Cajun in the last decade to be selected in the NBA Draft.
The 26-year old Payton played for his hometown New Orleans Pelicans in the 2018-2019 season, averaging 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists-per-game, after spending parts of four seasons with the Orlando Magic, as well as 19 games with the Phoenix Suns
In the 2019 offseason, Payton signed a contract with the New York Knicks for the next portion of his career, averaging similar numbers. Payton averaged 10.0 points, 7.2 assists and nearly five rebounds per contest.
Prior to going pro, Payton had the incredible opportunity to play for Team USA’s under 19 team in the summer of 2013, the year before he entered the NBA Draft. He visited parts of the world he had never seen, saw his confidence grow knowing that he could compete with the best players in college basketball, and lost a close family member who helped him understand the value of asking questions, studying and going below the surface to fully grasp each situation. In this, he became one of the greatest basketball players to roll through the city of Lafayette.
His numbers while attending UL Lafayette are incredible, tallying seven steals in one game at Michigan State and even being top five all-time in steals for a Louisiana player. Payton rewrote the record books while at Lafayette, showing how deserving he is of being elected in the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Hall of Fame.
After only having one scholarship offer out of high school, Payton is the definition of hard work paying off. He saw his game reach new heights at Louisiana Lafayette as a result of having support from those who believe in you. With the University of Louisiana at Lafayette being Payton’s only scholarship offer to becoming a top ten pick in the NBA Draft, Payton has shown what hard work can achieve.