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June 3, 1966 |
Carolina, Puerto Rico
|Nationality||Puerto Rican / Spanish|
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||260 lb (118 kg)|
|High school||Pedro Albizu Campos
(Carolina, Puerto Rico)
|NBA draft||1988 / Undrafted|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1998–1999||Zara Imballaggi Fabriano|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Juan Ramón Rivas Contreras (born March 16, 1966) is a Puerto Rican retired professional basketball player. He Worked for the Orlando Magic for 9 years on broadcasting Color analyst and 5 years for Fox Sport T.V. in Spanish . He has done the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008 and London 2012 next to Edgar Lopez for NBC Telemundo. Rivas was the second player from Puerto Rico to play in the NBA, and half of the first duo of Puerto Ricans to be active in the NBA simultaneously. Rivas has played in the NBA, NCAA, and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico (BSN) with the Carolina Giants.
Rivas has also played internationally in Spain, Greece, and Italy. Rivas was a member of the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team for several years. He represented Puerto Rico in the 1986 FIBA World Championship in Málaga, Spain; 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea; 1990 FIBA World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina; 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain; and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States.
As a youngster, Rivas played at The San Juan Y.M.C.A for Millin Romero. He progressed through Carolina's minor basketball tournaments, becoming one of the best centers in Puerto Rico while he played for Levittown's Pedro Albizu Campos High School's team. Flor Melendez took note of his progress and signed him to play for the Carolina Giants of the BSN. That year he was selected BSN Rookie of the Year.
The changes on the Carolina Giants were evident when Rivas joined the team: From being one of the worst teams in the league during the 1983 tournament they got better every year. In 1987, the team almost reached the BSN playoffs, and, in 1988, the team finally reached the BSN playoffs for the first time, having the best record in the regular season. (1989 Regular Season: PPG.24.4, Reb.17.4 in 30 games)
Rivas attended Temple University from 1984 to 1988, going in four occasions to the NCAA post season tournament. He was coached by hall of famer coach John Chaney. Templ] was ranked 1st in the nation his senior year with a record of 34 wins and 2 losses. Playing with the Owls helped him gain experience and improve his game in the NCAA. He became well known in the United States as a center who could score points and rebound in double figures, and was a respected player among his peers.
Signed by the NBA
Thanks to his notable NCAA career, the Boston Celtics announced that they would sign Rivas for a full season towards the end of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Having coincided with José Ortiz's signing by the Utah Jazz two weeks prior, Rivas' signing by the Celtics was a cause of great celebration for Puerto Ricans, many of whom felt their efforts in basketball were finally being recognized by the NBA.
With the Celtics, Rivas had the opportunity to share playing time alongside Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, Reggie Lewis and Brian Shaw among others. The Celtics reached the playoffs by beating the Washington Bullets by two games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA east that year, but were swept in three games by the eventual champion Detroit Pistons in the playoffs' first round.
Because of his height, Rivas had to change playing positions when he arrived to the Celtics, going from playing center in Puerto Rico, to forward in Boston.
After that season with the Celtics, he came back to Puerto Rico and received his first MVP honor playing for the Carolina Giants. That summer he was signed by a basketball club in Spain called Taugrés, which became his home for the next 7 years.
Rivas represented Puerto Rico as a member of the Puerto Rican national basketball team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and in the 1992 Olympics, held at Barcelona, Spain and the 1996 Olympics, held in Atlanta. He also won the gold medal at the 1991 Pan American Games, and participated in two FIBA World Championships.
Rivas played for Taugrés in the Spanish League from 1989 until 1995, winning the Copa del Rey in 1995. He arrived with the Vitorian team to the European Cup in three consecutive years finally winning it in the 1995–96 season against Peja Stojaković's team PAOK Thessaloniki and becoming the Final MVP with 32 points and 15 rebounds. In the 1996–97 season, he won the Spanish league with FC Barcelona and also finished runner-up of the 1996–97 FIBA Euroleague, losing to Olympiacos from Greece. The following year went to Athens to play for AEK Athens BC, one of the biggest clubs in Greece. In 1998, he went back to Spain for his final year with the club Cáceres CB. In 1999, he played in Italy for the club Fabriano.
- Ramón Rivas. basketball-reference.com