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  InterBasket > Player Profiles > Teo Cruz, Puerto Rico Ibn Facts: Married to Esther Zayas.  Teo Cruz, the basketball player, shares the name with a famous Dominican boxer, Carlos "Teo" Cruz who died in a plane crash at age 32.  Teo is one of four Puerto Rican basketball players to have carried the nation's flag for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  Teo did this in 1976 during the Montreal Olympics (the others were Carlos Arroyo (Athens 2004), Jose "Tonin" Casillas (Rome 1960), and Jaime Frontera (Mexico 1968).  After Teo's death in 2005, they decided to name the sports complex in San Juan in his honor.  And before a game against Venezuela, a moment of Silence was held in memory of Teofilo Cruz, the first center par excellence
Teófilo Cruz Profile

Name: Teofilo Cruz
Nickname: Teo
Born: ?, 1942
Status: Deceased August 31, 2005 at age 63
Origin: Puerto Rico
Height: ?
Weight: ?
Schools: N/A
Drafted: Undrafted
Languages: Spanish, English
Website: InterBasket
Teams (jersey): Puerto Rican National Team, Canóvanas, Guaynabo, River Piedras, Mayagüez, and the Santurce Crabbers (13),
Ibn Notes: Teofilo Cruz is considered by many as the best pivot to come of Puerto Rico.  Teo, as they called him, played in the Puerto Rican basketball league, the BSN (Baloncesto Superior Nacional) for an amazing 25 seasons. And was named MVP for four of those seasons, (1962, 1967, 1970 and 1971) and defensive player of the year a record five times.  Teo also lead the league in points per game twice and the first player ever to reach 9,000 points in the BSN (9535 points to be exact).  Teo was the starting center of the Puerto Rican National basketball team in the times when Puerto Rico and Brazil were the two dominant teams in the Americas outside the United States. Back in 1991, Teo joined the likes of international basketball legends Arvydas Sabonis, Nikos Galis, Dino Meneghin, Juan Antonio Corbalan, Oscar Schmidt, Sergei Belov, Drazen Petrovic, Modestas Paulauskas, Toni Kukoc, Andrew Gaze, and Vlade Divac on FIBA's 50 Greatest Players List determined by a group of international experts and coaches.  Cruz and Brazil's Oscar Schmidt share the record for  having competed in a record five Olympic basketball tournaments, Teo competed in the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976 Olympics Games... Teo could have competed in a record sixth  Olympic Games (1980 in Moscow) but the Federation of Basketball pulled the team out before the American boycott to the event.  As a result, in those Moscow games, Puerto Rico participated with only one athlete, a boxer.
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