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As JJ Barea readied to silence the thunder once again Thursday night, WFAA's Cynthia Izaguirre (Izzy) was ready to break his silence about his life and famous girlfriend.

Izzy caught up with Barea after practice Wednesday for a one-on-one chat about his life on and off the court.


Barea, a native Puerto Rican, said his father taught him to have patience and humility when playing ball. He is the seventh man from Puerto Rico to make it onto an NBA team, and it took a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

He left Puerto Rico at the age of 17, knowing his best chance to get drafted would be in the United States. One other barrier the player faced was that he was nowhere near the size of most of his opponents, which people soon learned wasn't going to stop him.

I'm 5'10 , 5'11 , Barea said. It's harder, but you just got to be quicker and learn how to handle the ball better. So, it's got a little bit more advantages.

The Mavericks list him as 6' tall.

Barea recently began dating the former Miss Universe, Puerto Rican beauty queen Zuleyka Rivera.

Maybe, we'll see, he said when asked about the relationship. Okay, that's enough. No more questions.

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