Puerto Rico is known for their passion in sports. Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Soccer and Cockfighting are some of the most famous sports in the country.
Basketball was founded in 1930s, and was helped by the national basketball organization that is the Puerto Rico’s Liga de Baloncesto Superior Nacional to be well known and make it a favourite sport in the island. Since it became popular to the citizens, Street Basketball is played mostly by the young generation as a sign of their support.
The representative of Puerto Rico in any international basketball championship is the Puerto Rico Men’s National Basketball team. The team competes in the Olympics Games, the World Championships, the Americas Championships, and others.
The players that were selected by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation to be in the national team are only the players coming from the National Basketball league but they already considered the Puerto Rican playing abroad professionally in 1990s.
The national team has made it to the Olympic Games not only ones but on many occasions. Puerto Rico had numerous gold medals in competitions worldwide and got its honor when they defeated the US dream Team on the Olympic Games since they were the first team who made it.
In 2010, the team gained a spot in the 2010 FIBA World Championship after landing in one of the top four spots in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship. Puerto Rico then landed on the second place with silver medal after losing against Argentina in the group category, and against Brazil in the finals.
In 2010 CentroBasket, Puerto Rico finished second place in Group B with Cuba.The team won against Panama in semifinals and won the finals against Dominican Republic. Players Barea and Arroyo were in the All-Star Team of the tournament.
The national team is recognized through their uniforms designed with the Puerto Rican flag and Puerto Rico written in cursive. It is color red or blue for visitor status and for host with the color white. They wore solid color uniforms with the word Puerto Rico in cursive in 1980’s until late 1990’s. Currently the national basketball team’s uniform looks like a Puerto Rico flag but still with the typical Puerto Rico sign.
The Birth of Basketball in Puerto Rico
In 1957 the Puerto Rico Basketball Federation joined FIBA, a French acronym which stands for “Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur” or “International Basketball Federation”. The Puerto Rico national basketball team are known as “The Magnificent Twelve” and participated in 11 World Championships and 9 Olympics. The FIBA ranked the Puerto Rico basketball team as the 10th in the world since the team has an outstanding performance.
The first appearance of the Puerto Rico team was at a World Championship in 1959 that was held in Chile. The team was at the 5th place with the record of 3-6.
The team was at the 6th place when they had their second appearance in the World Championship that was held in Brazil in 1936. 13th place at the Olympics in Rome in 1960, and reached the 4th place in Tokyo in 1964.