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PUR - One Hundred years of Basketball

The celebration of 100 years of basketball in Puerto Rico officially began yesterday.
In the Olympic House, former YMCA building, were the first basketball court was, and there began the celebration with a photo exhibition that reviews many of the most iconic moments in the history of Puerto Rican basketball.

Many of the players from different eras of this story arrived and reviewed the images, stories and emotions generated by one of the most followed sports in the island
Antonio "Toño" Morales played for the Ponce Lions from 1946 to 1962, and "if I could i will still be playing," said former player, who is 82, after reviewing his career and share anecdotes.

Angel "Caco" Cancel, who played 19 seasons in the Superior Basketball League and was a member of the National Team for 12 years, could not hide his excitement.
"It is an honor to be part of history. Young people need to know who came before, "said Cancel, who was happy to share with fellow teammates.
"They took us from the grave," Cancel said, laughing.

A century of stories

For his part, former player Joe Hatton was happy to be among colleagues and also is fortunate that his son, Bobby Joe Hatton, is also part of this story.

"It's an opportunity to at least share with players of the time and remember important moments in the history of Puerto Rico," said the former player of the Leones de Ponce  during the 60s and 70s of last century.

Ruben Adorno, Angel "Rabbit" Garcia, Cesar Bocachica, Edmundo "Mundi" Baez and former referee Alvin Boria were among the first to arrive at the exhibition.
"The person or country that does not recognize its past can not understand the present and plan for the future," said Carlos Beltran, president of the Basketball Federation on the initiative.
The federal leader explained that the exhibition is the first of a series of celebrations throughout the 2013 season.

In the exhibition you can see images ranging from the original court YMCA until Jose Juan Barea championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2010, passing through very emblematic of basketball locally and selection.

Precisely, Barea was chosen as the symbol of basketball player now.
"I am excited because I know that in Puerto Rico is being held today a very important holiday. Thank you for choosing me to represent a generation of basketball in Puerto Rico, "the guard said in a statement.


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