Puerto Rico Rumors
The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria will force Puerto Rico to move its World Cup basketball qualifying game next month against the United States, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. Talks between the Puerto Rican national basketball federation and U.S.A. Basketball to move the game to Orlando, Fla., were continuing as of Monday afternoon.
Jose Juan Barea: The only way I can describe it is that it was like a bomb had gone off. The Puerto Rico where I grew up was an island of beauty. Clear, blue water, golden sand, always green. But when our flight touched down in San Juan this past Tuesday, I hardly recognized my home. The sand was gone. The trees flattened. The water an ugly brownish-green.
Jose Juan Barea: I needed to do something. Mark Cuban, our owner, had texted me after the storm, asking about my family. Mark and I have a great relationship. Now I sent him a text: “Crazy idea here any way we can get a plane to take a lot of stuff to pr?” He responded right away. “I’ll check on the Mavs plane.” Thirty minutes later, my phone beeped again. “Just emailed u,” Mark wrote. I checked my inbox and couldn’t believe it: Mark had already contacted his aviation team. He said they could make a run as early as Monday. It’s hard for me to express how grateful I was.
Jose Juan Barea: And this is the message the people in Puerto Rico wanted me to take back to the States. That it’s bad down there. Really, really bad. An emergency situation. Half the people don’t have clean water. Plenty don’t have homes. Sick people can’t get medical assistance. Crime is rising. One of my friends said every day is like a bad movie, over and over again.