There are several Puerto Ricans who are playing for different countries.
They were recruited because of their passion towards the game. The National Basketball Association recognized the effort that they made, that’s why many of them are being imported just to play in different teams.
The first Puerto Rican in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is Alfred “Butch” Lee. The 6’ft 1” professional basketball player was first drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 1978. He also played in the NCAA and National Basketball League of Puerto Rico or BSN.
While he was in the NBA, he played for several teams like Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers and his first team in NBA the Atlanta Hawks. Lee was still a member of the Puerto Rican National team when they came close in defeating the US in 1976. At the 1977 Final Four he was chosen to be the Most Outstanding Player wherein the Marquette Warriors reached the first national championship.
Another retired Puerto Rican Professional Basketball player is Jose Ortiz also known as Piculin or Picu. He played in NCAA with 53 games played, various European teams, National Basketball League of Puerto Rico and played 63 games in NBA. He was drafted in Utah Jazz, 15th overall, in 1987. While in BSN he played for San Germán Athletics, Arecibo Captains, and Santurce Crabbers.
When the National Basketball Team defeated the United States in 2004, Ortiz is one of the players who led the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team to its victory. He was also a member of the Olympic teams in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2004. Ortiz also received an NCAA All-American award in 1987.
After two weeks when Ortiz signed for Utah Jazz, Juan Ramon Rivas Contreras was the second Puerto Rican player who played in NBA. He played for Boston Celtics and is now the Orlando Magic Spanish radio broadcaster. Rivas played in Spain, Italy, and Greece also in NCAA and BSN with the Carolina Giants.
He was a member of Puerto Rican National Basketball Team for many years and received awards like 1984 BSN Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 1989 also in BSN.
Peter John Ramos is the third Puerto Rican that was drafted by the NBA and the sixth Puerto Rican to play NBA. He Played in NBA and BSN. He is also; together with Ortiz was a member of the Puerto Rican National Team who defeated United States in 2004 Olympic Games. Ramos was drafted by the Washington Wizards second round, 32nd overall, in 2004. Ramos career accomplishments are: BSN Most Improved Player Award in 2002, 2006-2007 NBDL All-Star and All-NBDL Honorable Mention in 2006-2007.
Daniel Gregg Santiago is a Puerto Rican/ American basketball player. He is the fourth Puerto Rican to play in the NBA. The 7’1”player plays as a center and currently playing for Capitanes de Arecibo in Puerto Rico. He is the fourth Puerto Rican to be in NBA and played in NCAA, NAIA, BSN, and internationally in Italy and Spain. Santiago received certain awards as BSN 1998 champion, NAIA 1999 Series A champion and champion in ACB in 2006.