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J.J. Barea Married Miss Universe & Started a Family
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins (left), Screenshot from YouTube (right)

Former Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea certainly isn’t a household name among casual NBA fans. Still, the 37-year-old has become a fan-favorite in Dallas, having played 11 seasons for the Mavs.

Despite all the love he gets in Dallas, it’s in his homeland of Puerto Rico that Barea is a true superstar. And so is his wife, the lovely Viviana Ortiz Pastrana.

J.J. Barea’s Wife Viviana Ortiz Pastrana

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J.J. Barea has been married to his wife Viviana Ortiz since 2016. The couple reportedly began dating in 2013 and three years later exchanged vows at the church of the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A few months before their wedding, Barea and Ortiz welcomed their first child, daughter Paulina Barea Ortiz.

Viviana Ortiz was born in Corozal, Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Sacred Heart University of Puerto Rico before turning her attention towards modeling.

In 2011, Ortiz was crowned Miss Universe Puerto Rico and has since become one of the best-known Puerto Rican models in the world. She’s popular on social media, boasting nearly 220,000 followers on Instagram. At the Miss Universe contest, she revealed that she used to play center on a club basketball team.

Before dating Ortiz, Barea was in a relationship with another renowned model and fellow Miss Universe contestant, Zuleyka Rivera. Rivera wasn’t just a contestant, though. She won Miss Universe 2006. The couple had one child together, son Sebastian Jose Barea Rivera.

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J.J. Barea Early Life and NBA Career

Jose Juan Barea Mora was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to parents Marta and Jaime Barea. He moved to Florida to attend high school at the Miami Christian School before playing college basketball at Northeastern University from 2002-2006. Barea was named the CAA Player of the Year in 2006.

Barea went undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft but latched on with the Mavericks as an undrafted rookie. Barea would spend his first five years as an NBA player in Dallas before joining the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011. He returned to Dallas in 2014 and played for Mark Cuban’s Mavericks until 2020 alongside the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic.

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Barea opted to head home to Puerto Rico to continue his career as a professional basketball player rather than return to the NBA in 2021. He joined the Cangrejeros de Santurce of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.

Throughout his 13 years in the NBA, Barea played in 831 regular season games and 50 playoff games. He averaged 8.9 points, 3.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds across his career. He’s also had an exceptional international career. Barea represented Puerto Rico at the Pan American Games in 2007, during which his country took home the silver medal.

Barea won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2018 due to his relief efforts and charitable actions in the wake of the destructive hurricane that ravished Puerto Rico that year.

Barea’s NBA career has left him a pretty wealthy man. According to reports, Barea boasts an estimated net worth of $11 million.

J.J. Barea’s basketball career may be coming to a close soon, but maybe that gives him an opportunity to spend more time with his family, including his beautiful wife.

MORE: Who is Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Girlfriend?

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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