Orlando Magic Small Forward to Play During Offseason

San Juan, Puerto Rico (January 29, 2014) –  Maurice “Moe” José Harkless, the Orlando Magic player of Puerto Rican ancestry, has agreed to play for the Puerto Rican National Team.  He will join the team in Puerto Rico after the NBA season.

President of the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation, Carlos Beltrán, announced that Harkless agreed to join the Puerto Rican National Team and play in upcoming international tournaments.  Harkless made the decision after participating in a couple of meetings in Orlando with Puerto Rican National Team’s coach, Francisco ‘Paco’ Olmos and team general manager Alfredo Morales, and also receiving the green light from his mother, Rosa and his agent, Happy Walters.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to play for the National Team of Puerto Rico,” said Moe Harkless.  “I look forward to playing alongside these men and helping win games on an international level.  It is an added bonus that I get to play for my extended family.  I hope to make them and the people of Puerto Rico proud,” said Harkless.

“Over the past five months, we have been working with Moe to get him to join the team.  I want to recognize the help that our advisor Joel Katz has given us during this process,” said Beltrán, who noted that the attempt to get Harkless’ services for the National Team began two years ago when he was playing for St. John’s University in the NCAA. “On the one hand, Harkless’ addition brings a new dimension to our national team, and, on the other, it can increase the interest of Puerto Rican fans in Orlando,” Beltran added.

Born and raised in New York, Harkless played for one year at St. John’s University in New York, NY, before becoming eligible for the NBA draft.  Drafted in 2012, he was selected in the first round (15th overall) by the Philadelphia 76ers, then acquired by the Orlando Magic via trade. Now in his second NBA season, 20 year old Harkless is averaging 6.8 points and 3 rebounds per game, although in his last nine games his production has increased to 8.6 points, with an average of 21.8 minutes per game.

Beltrán said the 6’8” player, a small forward, is expected to train with the Puerto Rican National Team at the end of the Orlando Magic’s season.  He plans to play for the team before the Centrobasket tournament in Mexico and the World Championships in August before returning to the Magic.

The Puerto Rican National Team will feature five (5) current and former NBA players including Moe Harkless, Jose Juan “J.J.” Barea, Carlos Arroyo, Renaldo Balkman and Danny Santiago.

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