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José Ortiz

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Subject: 2003 Tournament of the Americas, Basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament, Pacific-12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Chris Welp, Argentina at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Collection: 1963 Births, 2004 Puerto Rican National Basketball Team, American Expatriate Basketball People in Greece, Aris B.C. Players, Baloncesto Málaga Players, Baloncesto Superior Nacional Players, Basketball Players at the 1988 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players at the 1992 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Bc Andorra Players, Cb Málaga Players, Centers (Basketball), Fc Barcelona Bàsquet Players, Irakleio B.C. Players, Liga Acb Players, Living People, Olympic Basketball Players of Puerto Rico, Oregon State Beavers Men's Basketball Players, Paok B.C. Players, People from Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican Basketball Players, Puerto Rican Expatriates in Spain, Puerto Rican National Basketball Team, Real Madrid Baloncesto Players, Utah Jazz Draft Picks, Utah Jazz Players
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José Ortiz

José Ortiz
Personal information
Born (1963-10-25) October 25, 1963
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 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15th overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Pro career 1982–2006
Position Center
Career history
1980–1991 Atléticos de San Germán
1987–1988 CAI Zaragoza
1988–1990 Utah Jazz
1990–1991 Real Madrid
1991–1992 FC Barcelona
1992–1993 Festina Andorra
1993–1994 Unicaja Málaga
1994–1995 Gymnastikos Larissas
1995–1996 Iraklio
1996–1997 Aris
1997 Guayaquiries Margarita
1998–2005 Cangrejeros de Santurce
2006 Capitanes de Arecibo
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

José Rafael Ortiz (born October 25, 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 marijuana plants. He was sentenced to six months in prison.[2]


  • Early life and education 1
  • BSN career 2
  • College career 3
  • NBA career 4
  • International career 5
  • Olympic career 6
  • Other ventures 7
    • Entrepreneur 7.1
    • Politics 7.2
    • Social activism 7.3
  • Personal life 8
  • Legal problems 9
  • Career statistics 10
    • NCAA 10.1
    • NBA 10.2
    • BSN 10.3
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Early life and education

Ortíz was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico on October 25, 1963, but was raised in Cayey. He started his career as a center (basketball) 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


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


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 one daughter but he had a son from a previous relationship.[18] However, they divorced in 2006.[13] He has been in a relationship with Sylvia Ríos since 2009.[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.[2]

Career statistics


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


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


Year Team GP FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG PPG
1980 San Germán 6 .500 .000 .800 0.7 0.0 1.7
1981 San Germán 9 .357 .000 .400 1.6 0.0 1.6
1982 San Germán 14 .356 .000 .500 3.1 0.0 2.9
1983 San Germán 33 .549 .000 .606 10.3 0.6 14.1
1984 San Germán 29 .575 .000 .631 13.1 1.1 21.1
1985 San Germán 29 .610 .400 .660 14.4 0.9 25.5
1986 San Germán 24 .568 .000 .678 11.3 1.7 18.8
1987 San Germán 22 .636 .500 .769 13.7 1.8 23.7
1988 San Germán 31 .590 .200 .768 11.5 2.3 20.2
1989 San Germán 23 .569 .000 .752 11.0 2.1 19.7
1990 San Germán 19 .630 .688 .774 12.7 2.8 22.5
1991 San Germán 11 .614 .333 .768 15.8 2.3 19.9
1994 San Germán 14 .636 .000 .818 9.6 3.4 17.3
1995 San Germán 19 .594 .296 .731 11.8 2.9 20.2
1996 San Germán 25 .647 .400 .711 13.8 3.3 20.5
1998 Santurce 29 .608 .269 .704 12.6 3.5 19.3
1999 Santurce 18 .609 .250 .667 10.1 3.3 20.6
2000 Santurce 28 .575 .273 .663 9.0 3.0 18.0
2001 Santurce 23 .576 .238 .656 10.1 2.8 19.7
2002 Santurce 27 .603 .333 .629 9.6 3.3 19.4
2003 Santurce 16 .457 .318 .464 8.6 3.6 14.1
2004 Santurce 29 .498 .000 .623 7.4 3.0 10.4
2005 Santurce 23 .496 .286 .404 6.5 1.9 10.9
2006 Arecibo 4 .474 .000 .500 5.5 1.5 5.0
Career 505 .582 .307 .680 10.5 2.2 17.7

See also


  1. ^ a b c José “Piculín” Ortiz Rijos: Brillante trayectoria deportiva on Primera Hora (June 30, 2011)
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Figura versada y culta on El Nuevo Día (July 3, 2011)
  4. ^ José Piculín Ortíz Statistics on
  5. ^ a b Jose Ortiz on Basketball-Reference
  6. ^ Trayectoria deportiva de Piculín Ortiz on El Nuevo Día (June 30, 2011)
  7. ^ CAI Basket Zaragoza 1987-88 on
  8. ^ FC Barcelona 1991-92 on
  9. ^ Biografia de Jose Piculin Ortiz on BiografiasyVidas
  10. ^ Una fortuna que se le esfumó a Piculín Ortíz on El Nuevo Día (July 3, 2011)
  11. ^ Trayectoria Deportiva de Piculín on El Nuevo Día (June 30, 2011)
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b El derrumbe de Piculin Ortiz on El Nuevo Día (July 1, 2011)
  14. ^
  15. ^ Derrota política desato su derrumbe personal on El Nuevo Día (June 30, 2011)
  16. ^ Piculin Ortiz crea Instituto de Baloncesto on El Nuevo Día; Medina Gil, Alberto (May 29, 2011)
  17. ^ Trayectoria deportiva de Piculín Ortíz on El Nuevo Día (June 30, 2011)
  18. ^ Falta personal de José “Piculín” Ortiz on Primera Hora; Rodríguez-Burns, Francisco (July 1, 2011)
  19. ^ a b Piculín Ortiz se declara culpable y podría ir preso on El Nuevo Día; Suárez Torres, Lymaris (November 5, 2011)
  20. ^ Tribunal envía a Piculín Ortiz a clínica para tratar adicción a drogas on El Nuevo Día; Suárez Torres, Limarys (June 30, 2011)
  21. ^ José "Piculín" Ortiz es ingresado a prisión on Primera Hora; Rodríguez-Burns, Francisco (November 8, 2011)

External links

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