This one hurts, especially for our Puerto Rican Rebels.
Last Wednesday, one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of Puerto Rico—José Piculín Ortiz—was arrested in his Cayey home after police found 218 marijuana plants. In addition, police also found (get ready for this) 40 rounds of assault-rile ammunition.
Piculín (o Picu) had an amazing career for the Puerto Rican National Basketball team, having played on four Olympic teams. Picu played at Oregon State where was PAC Player of the year in 1987 and earned All-American honors that year as well. Drafted #15 by the Utah Jazz, Picu played a few years in the NBA, before making his mark in Spain’s professional basketball team.
As The Washington Post reports:
Federal agents Wednesday raided the home he was renting in the central mountain town of Cayey after a monthlong investigation following a tip Immigration and Customs Enforcement received.
Agents also found numerous documents, including pamphlets on how to cultivate marijuana and a notebook with instructions related to the plants’ cultivation, Rodriguez said. Ortiz was at home alone when agents arrived, found the marijuana plants on the first floor and arrested him, according to the affidavit.
“He wasn’t aggressive,” Rodriguez said. “He cooperated with us.”
We here at the Rebels are saddened by this news. Some of us grew up on the island during Picu’s career and he has always been seen as the island’s best big man. So, even with the arrest, we would rather remember Picu like this.