Fufi Santori

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Jose Santori Coll (born 1932 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico), better known as Fufi Santori, is a well known former BSN basketball player, coach and television sportscaster. He was also a physical education, basketball and tennis instructor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez for close to thirty years. Fufi Santori is of obvious Corsican-Puerto Rican descent which is common and well known on the island. He is also, through his maternal grand father, of Irish descent.

Biography[edit]

Fufi Santori, his brother Tito and the rest of his family moved to San Juan at an early age. He grew up with pro-independence political ideas; his grand father Cayetano Coll y Cuchí was Speaker of the House of Representatives and his grand uncle José Coll y Cuchí was the founder of Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. An avid sports fan, Santori was also a member of the Puerto Rican Olympic Basketball Team that participated ein the 1960 Olympiad in Rome. He was a tennis player and coach. While still a teenager, in 1944, Santori and his brother Tito boarded what was Puerto Rico's only passenger train to attend a Boy Scouts Rally in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. [1].

After a notable high school basketball career, Santori joined the BSN's Capitanes de Arecibo, where he gained fame across Puerto Rico as one of the better known professional basketball players of the 1950s and 1960s. He represented Puerto Rico in various olympics and was one of the players that helped Arecibo to become the only team to go undefeated the entire season when the Capitanes won the 1959 BSN national title. He also played for the Rio Piedras squad, winning two scoring titles there, in 1963 and 1968. Santori was later chosen as the 30th best player in Puerto Rican basketball history by a BSN voting panel.

After basketball[edit]

Santori's popularity kept growing after he retired from the game. In 1982, he joined Manolo Rivera Morales as television broadcasters during WAPA-TV's transmissions of BSN games. He remained in that position until 1985, when he accepted a contract to coach the Gallitos de Isabela team. Apart from his television job, he started writing a daily column (during the BSN season) for El Nuevo Dia newspaper, where he predicted winners of BSN basketball games. In 1984, and taking into consideration his knowledge of the sport of tennis, WAPA-TV designed him as commentator of the Martina Navratilova-Gigi Fernández tennis game, one of the most widely seen sports events in Puerto Rican television history. He also held a daily basketball column at WAPA-TV's news show, Noticentro 4, during the BSN season. His job at Noticentro 4, just like his job at El Nuevo Dia, was to predict winners of BSN basketball games, but he occasionally talked about other things, such as the time he predicted Héctor Camacho would outpoint Edwin Rosario in their boxing fight, although Santori was a self declared non-boxing fan. Camacho did outpoint Rosario in their bout. He also had a five minute show named "Las guiritas de Fufi" ("Fufi's Lay-ups"), where he taught youngsters basketball fundamentals.

After leaving the Gallitos de Isabela, Santori was reinstated to WAPA-TV's basketball broadcast team. He left to coach the national basketball team for a short period of time. After his stint as the national team's coach was over, he predicted, in 1992, that Puerto Rico's team would beat the original Dream Team in Barcelona.

Santori was an active member of the Puerto Rico Chess Federation and became a relatively strong player in tournaments held in Puerto Rico. Santori is the father of María Eugenia Santori, who won a bronce medal in the Chess Olympiad representing the Puerto Rico National Chess Team.

In 2006, Santori was honored with an award recognizing his career as a basketball player and sportscaster.

Santori vs. United States of America[edit]

Fufi Santori tried, in 1994, to renounce to his United States citizenship, aiming at gaining a mostly symbolic but technically possible Puerto Rican citizenship. Santori's request was denied, based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. On June 28 of that year, an appeal from Santori's side was denied by the United States district court for the district of Puerto Rico. Santori's request was rejected because 8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(5) specifically says that renunciations of U.S. citizenship must be made before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer abroad. Santori's attempt at renunciation was in the form of an affidavit in Lares, Puerto Rico.

Behind the litigation over Santori's nationality status lie some anomalies and peculiarities relating to matters of status in Puerto Rico: Under the Treaty of Paris under which the United States acquired sovereignty over Puerto Rico, Spanish nationals had a right of option. United States nationality (citizenship) is acquired by persons born in Puerto Rico by that Treaty and under statute, and not under the 14th Amendment (8 U.S.C. § 1406, 66 Stat. 237). Finally, U.S. citizens, born or naturalized in Puerto Rico and domiciled and resident there at the time of death, are not subject to U.S. estate tax on Puerto Rican assets: 26 U.S.C. §§ 22082209; Rev. Rul. 74-25; TAM 7612220070A; General Counsel Memorandum 36944, Dec. 10, 1976.