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Jose Ortiz

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Jose Ortiz

For other uses, see José Ortiz (disambiguation).
José Rafael Ortiz
Center
Personal information
Born (1963-10-23) October 23, 1963 (age 50)
Aibonito, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school Benjamin Harrison
(Cayey, Puerto Rico)
College Oregon State (1985–1987)
NBA draft 1987 / 15th overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Pro playing career 1982–2006
Career history
Atléticos de San Germán (1980–1991)
CAI Zaragoza (1987–1988)
Utah Jazz (1988–1990)
Real Madrid (1990–1991)
FC Barcelona (1991–1992)
Festina Andorra (1992–1993)
CB Málaga (1993–1994)
Gymnastikos S. Larissas (1994–1995)
Iraklio BC (1995–1996)
Aris Thessalonki (1996–1997)
Guayaquiries Margarita (1997)
Cangrejeros de Santurce (1998–2005)
Capitanes de Arecibo (2006)
Career highlights and awards
  • 8x BSN Champion (1985, 1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003)
  • Korac Cup Champion (1997)
  • Pac-10 Player of the Year 1987
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Template:Infobox medal templates

José Rafael Ortiz (born October 23, 1963), better known as Piculín or Picu, is a retired Puerto Rican professional basketball player. He has played in the NCAA, NBA, various European teams and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico.

He played for the Utah Jazz while in the NBA and the Atléticos de San Germán, Cangrejeros de Santurce, and Capitanes de Arecibo while in the BSN. Ortiz was a member of the Puerto Rican National Team from 1983–2004. Most notably he was a member of the 2004 Puerto Rican National Basketball Team that defeated the United States. Ortiz was a member of 4 Olympic teams 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2004.

Ortíz holds various honors and records as a basketball player. He ranks #4 and #6 in the all-time statistics for rebounds per game and total rebounds in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league. He is also the third player to win eight championships in the league. Ortíz is also the first Puerto Rican player to be drafted in the NBA. Many experts consider Ortíz to be the best Puerto Rican basketball player.[1]

Despite his success in sports, Ortíz went through financial troubles after retiring. In 2011, he was arrested for the possession of 218 marihuana plants and weapons. He was sentenced to six months in prison.[2]

Early life and education

Ortíz was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico on October 23, 1963, but was raised in Cayey. He started his career as a center at Benjamin Harrison High School in Cayey. He was nicknamed Piculín after one of the characters in The Wizard of Oz and The Concorde as a reference to the popular plane and his height (6'11"). Ortíz earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Oregon State University.[3]

BSN career

In 1980, with approximately 17 years, Ortíz debuted with the Atléticos de San Germán from the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league in Puerto Rico. As his career progressed, he improved his game significantly leading San Germán to a championship in 1985. That season, Ortíz averaged more than 25 points and 14 rebounds per game. He would lead the team to a second title in 1991, while he averaged 19 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.[4] After the 1991 season, Ortíz left the league to play in Europe. He would return in 1994 to lead San Germán to yet another title.

In 1998, Ortíz was released by San Germán. He then went to play for the Cangrejeros de Santurce, and helped them win four titles in a row (1998–2001). In 2002, Ortíz was named Most Valuable Player of the league, although his team did not reach the Finals. Ortíz and the Cangrejeros won another title again in 2003, making Ortíz only the third player to win eight titles in the league.[1]

He played two more years with Santurce, and in 2006 he played with the Capitanes de Arecibo. However, he retired after just one season with the team. He finished his career with 8,915 points, 5,314 rebounds (#6), and 1,134 assists in 505 regular season games. To this day, he is considered by many experts as the best Puerto Rican basketball player.[1]

College career

Ortíz attended Oregon State University from 1985-1987 where he was instructed by legendary coach Ralph Miller and was a teammate of future Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton during the latter's freshman year. During his two seasons with the Beavers, he averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.[5] After the 1986-87 season, he was named Pac-10 Player of the Year defeating (among others) Reggie Miller of UCLA.[6] He also earned NCAA All-American honors in the 1986–1987 NCAA season.

NBA career

After graduating from Oregon State University, Ortíz entered the 1987 NBA Draft. He was selected #15 by the Utah Jazz becoming the first Puerto Rican to be selected in an NBA draft. However, before his first season, he received an offer from the CAI Zaragoza in Spain and he accepted. Ortíz rejoined the Jazz for the 1988-89 season, debuting on November 9, 1988. During his first season, Ortíz played 51 games, starting in 15. He averaged 2.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game.

Ortíz returned to the NBA for the 1989-90 season, playing in 13 games before being waived by the team on February 5, 1990. He finished his brief NBA career with an average of 2.9 points and 1.1 rebounds per game.[5] Ortíz wore #44 during his NBA career.

International career

Ortíz played for the CAI Zaragoza basketball team in 1987. During that season, he was the second leading scorer of the team with 17.4 points per game.[7] However, he then returned to play with the Utah Jazz of the NBA. After being waived by the Jazz in 1990, Ortíz was hired by the Real Madrid basketball team in Spain. During that time, he played with Fernando Romay, Antonio Martín Espina, and José "Chechu" Biriukov. After that season, he went to the FC Barcelona where he won the Copa del Rey de Baloncesto in 1991 and finished second at the Euroleague. During that season, he was one of the team's leading rebounder.[8]

After that, Ortíz played for the Festina Andorra (1992–1993), the Unicaja Málaga (1993–1994), the Gymnastikos S. Larissas (1994–1995), the Iraklio Creta (1995–1996) and the Aris Thessaloniki (1996–1997). In 1997, he helped the Aris team win the Korać Cup.[9] After that season, Ortíz was offered approximately more than $1 million by the PAOK B.C. but the contract was declared null when laboratory tests for steroids allegedly came positive. Ortíz appealed the decision and won, but refused to return to Europe to play.[10]

In 1997, Ortíz played for the Guaiqueríes de Margarita in the Venezuelan league.[11]

Olympic career

In 1982, Ortiz reached the minimum age to join Puerto Rico's national basketball team, and in 1983, he saw his first international competition, at the Pan American Games of Caracas, Venezuela. At the 1987 Pan American Games, Ortíz was the flag-bearer for Puerto Rico. They won the bronze medal on that tournament.[12] In 1991, Ortiz helped the Puerto Rican National basketball team earn a gold medal at the Pan American Games, held in Havana, Cuba.

After the 2002 world championships of basketball, held at Indianapolis, Ortiz announced his retirement from the national team, to coincide with national teammate Jerome Mincy's retirement from the team. He would reconsider his decision later and rejoin the national team. In 2004, he was part of the team that defeated the United States men's national basketball team at the Summer Olympics.

Other ventures

Entrepreneur

Ortíz opened a restaurant called Patria in his hometown of Cayey. However, in 2003 the restaurant went bankrupt.[13]

Politics

Ortiz became interested in politics after meeting politician Ferdinand Pérez in 2000. Pérez sought Ortíz advice for legislative measures related to sports. Although reluctant at first, Ortíz finally accepted to run for Senator behind Pérez' campaign for Mayor of San Juan for the Popular Democratic Party. Ortíz ran for senatorial candidate from the district of San Juan-Guaynabo in Puerto Rico's 2008 general elections. However, both their bids were unsuccessful.[14] Pérez has said that Ortíz distanced from politics after the defeat.[15]

Social activism

In May 28, 2011, Ortíz officially opened in Cayey the Piculín Ortíz Basketball Institute. The center aims to develop the basketball skills and performance of children and teenagers.[16][17]

Personal life

Ortíz married Nirita Ruíz with whom he had two children, including one daughter.[18] However, they divorced in 2006.[13] Recently he has been in a relationship with Silvia Ríos.[19]

Legal problems

On June 29, 2011 Ortiz was arrested for drug related charges. Federal agents seized 218 marijuana plants in a rented property along with munitions for AR-15 rifles. Ortíz allegedly claimed possession of all the material during the arrest. At the bail hearing, Ortíz was legally represented by a public defender since he claimed he had no money for a lawyer. At the hearing, the judge decided to send Ortíz to a rehabilitation clinic.[20]

In November 4, 2011, Ortíz declared himself guilty of the charges against him.[19] The next week, he failed a surprise drug test which revealed he had used cocaine. Judge Camille Vélez Rivé ordered the immediate imprisonment of Ortíz, arguing that she had given him several opportunities already.[21] On March 29, 2012, he was sentenced to six months in prison.[22]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NCAA

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1985-86 Oregon State 22 - 34.8 .515 - .664 8.5 - 0.6 1.5 16.4
1986-87 Oregon State 30 - 36.7 .584 - .725 8.7 - 1.2 1.4 22.3
Career 52 - 35.9 .557 .500 .703 8.7 1.5 0.9 1.4 19.8

NBA

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1988–89 Utah 51 15 6.4 .440 .000 .596 1.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 2.8
1989–90 Utah 13 0 4.9 .452 .500 .600 1.2 0.5 0.2 0.1 3.2
Career 63 15 6.1 .443 .333 .596 1.1 0.3 0.2 0.1 2.9

BSN

Template:BSN player statistics start |- | align="left" | 1980 | align="left" | San Germán | 6 || .500 || .000 || .800 || 0.7 || 0.0 || 1.7 |- | align="left" | 1981 | align="left" | San Germán | 9 || .357 || .000 || .400 || 1.6 || 0.0 || 1.6 |- | align="left" | 1982 | align="left" | San Germán | 14 || .356 || .000 || .500 || 3.1 || 0.0 || 2.9 |- | align="left" | 1983 | align="left" | San Germán | 33 || .549 || .000 || .606 || 10.3 || 0.6 || 14.1 |- | align="left" | 1984 | align="left" | San Germán | 29 || .575 || .000 || .631 || 13.1 || 1.1 || 21.1 |- | align="left" | 1985 | align="left" | San Germán | 29 || .610 || .400 || .660 || 14.4 || 0.9 || 25.5 |- | align="left" | 1986 | align="left" | San Germán | 24 || .568 || .000 || .678 || 11.3 || 1.7 || 18.8 |- | align="left" | 1987 | align="left" | San Germán | 22 || .636 || .500 || .769 || 13.7 || 1.8 || 23.7 |- | align="left" | 1988 | align="left" | San Germán | 31 || .590 || .200 || .768 || 11.5 || 2.3 || 20.2 |- | align="left" | 1989 | align="left" | San Germán | 23 || .569 || .000 || .752 || 11.0 || 2.1 || 19.7 |- | align="left" | 1990 | align="left" | San Germán | 19 || .630 || .688 || .774 || 12.7 || 2.8 || 22.5 |- | align="left" | 1991 | align="left" | San Germán | 11 || .614 || .333 || .768 || 15.8 || 2.3 || 19.9 |- | align="left" | 1994 | align="left" | San Germán | 14 || .636 || .000 || .818 || 9.6 || 3.4 || 17.3 |- | align="left" | 1995 | align="left" | San Germán | 19 || .594 || .296 || .731 || 11.8 || 2.9 || 20.2 |- | align="left" | 1996 | align="left" | San Germán | 25 || .647 || .400 || .711 || 13.8 || 3.3 || 20.5 |- | align="left" | 1998 | align="left" | Santurce | 29 || .608 || .269 || .704 || 12.6 || 3.5 || 19.3 |- | align="left" | 1999 | align="left" | Santurce | 18 || .609 || .250 || .667 || 10.1 || 3.3 || 20.6 |- | align="left" | 2000 | align="left" | Santurce | 28 || .575 || .273 || .663 || 9.0 || 3.0 || 18.0 |- | align="left" | 2001 | align="left" | Santurce | 23 || .576 || .238 || .656 || 10.1 || 2.8 || 19.7 |- | align="left" | 2002 | align="left" | Santurce | 27 || .603 || .333 || .629 || 9.6 || 3.3 || 19.4 |- | align="left" | 2003 | align="left" | Santurce | 16 || .457 || .318 || .464 || 8.6 || 3.6 || 14.1 |- | align="left" | 2004 | align="left" | Santurce | 29 || .498 || .000 || .623 || 7.4 || 3.0 || 10.4 |- | align="left" | 2005 | align="left" | Santurce | 23 || .496 || .286 || .404 || 6.5 || 1.9 || 10.9 |- | align="left" | 2006 | align="left" | Arecibo | 4 || .474 || .000 || .500 || 5.5 || 1.5 || 5.0 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 505 || .582 || .307 || .680 || 10.5 || 2.2 || 17.7 |}

See also

References

External links

  • Basketpedya.com Profile
  • BASKET ARIS Unofficial fans site dedicated to ARIS B.C.

Template:Puerto Rico Men Basketball Squad 1996 Summer Olympics

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