Sunday, June 4

Puerto Rico says goodbye to a legend: Johnny Báez, former basketball legend of Real Madrid and the island, passed away

Báez played two Olympic Games with the Puerto Rico basketball team.

Báez played two Olympic Games with the Puerto Rico basketball team.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Puerto Rican basketball player Juan Ramon “Johnny” Baez, 86 years old, sports legend from the Caribbean island and who played for Real Madrid between 1957 and 1960, he died due to health problems, according to the family through social networks.

The son of the deceased, Carlos Báez, notified this Wednesday on his Facebook account of the death of his father, which occurred during the early hours of Tuesday.

Báez was recognized with the Medal of Honor from the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee and inducted into the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame thanks to becoming one of the best players in the island’s league, the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN).

The Puerto Rican pivot marked a before and after in Spanish basketball, according to what is pointed out about the player in the Real Madrid internet address.

Fast, coordinated, with a good bounce, endowed with a great jump, easy to shoot and very elegant. This is how Juan Ramón Báez Mariño, Johnny Báez, could be defined, whose game had nothing to do with that of the majority of centers of the time“, indicates the record of the historic Real Madrid player, with whom he won two leagues and a Spanish Cup.

Báez, who grew up in the Río Piedras district of San Juan, was nicknamed “El Indio de la Vía” because of the proximity of his house to the train.

After studying at the University of Puerto Rico High School, he traveled to Madrid, where he played for the capital’s team between 1958 and 1960. johnny went twice best scorer in the Spanish leaguewhere his memory lives on.

Apart from the titles, the legacy of the Caribbean also resides in the new concepts of the game that he contributed. He showed that a center could do much more than just grab rebounds“, remember the file of Real Madrid.

Báez played 17 seasons in the BSN, always with the Cardenales de Río Piedras. The pivot became the second player in BSN history to reach 5,000 points, in addition to retiring as the best scorer to date with 5,239 points.

The player was part of Puerto Rican National Team, with which he obtained the fourth place at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in addition to being included among the players who participated in the Caribbean territory’s Olympic debut at the 1960 Rome Games.

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