The Miami Tropics program has been a symbol of excellence and performance for over 10 years. They have worked with some of the biggest names in Puerto Rico basketball to include legendary coach and founder of the ABB Basketball Club Miguel Mercado and the Dallas Mavericks' JJ Barea to name a few. The founder of the Miami Tropics, Arturo "Pilin" Alvarez is widely considered to be one of the most well connected guys at all levels of the game. Alvarez is respected as a coach, mentor and basketball executive. Most importantly he has the respect and admiration of those who have played for and against him.
A well respected D1 college coach who wishes to remain anonymous said about Alvarez, "Pilin is a great mentor with a proven track record of helping student athletes. The work he has done in Puerto Rico is unmatched by any program on the island. Others have tried to imitate what he has done but no program has produced the type of talent the Miami Tropics have."
When word began to circulate in the media that Rick Pitino was considering accepting a position as Head Coach of the Puerto Rican National Team it was Alvarez who Pitino consulted with. Alvarez is a close confidant and advisor to Pitino and will be assisting him on both the selection and development of National Team prospects.
Many in grassroots basketball wondered if Washington and Alvarez would battle for players given the recent success of PR Playmakers in placing many of the top recruits into both prep school and college.
IPRB spoke tonight with PR Playmakers Founder and Senior Advisor to the President of the Puerto Rico Basketball Federation, Todd Washington about the possibility of the Miami Tropics and PR Playmakers working together. Said Washington," Pilin is a legend in the game and we have been trying to work with him and his program for quite some time. He and I had a mutual friend who recommended that we speak and see how we could work together. You have to remember that Pilin and the Miami Tropics have been doing it for years! In terms of developing an elite internationally recognized travel program nobody here has done it like the Tropics. From Barea to Diaz to Clemente, Pilin has successfully mentored many of the best players to come out of PR in the last 10 years. I spoke Pilin at length this evening and we are going to see how we can compliment each other and continue to collectively assist elite youth basketball players' develop into successful students and leaders. We are really excited about all the possibilties."
Always the forward thinker, Alvarez stated the following via text about plans to work with Washington the the Playmakers program,"It would be a pleasure to work with Todd as he's one of the most respected individuals in our basketball industry. He has helped numerous student athletes from the Caribbean. His reputation is impeccable and his kids absolutely love him. The Miami Tropics organization is looking forward to partnering with him to continue to help student athletes come to the states to achieve their goals and dreams."
In an environment where guys like Alvarez and Washington typically fight and compete for players
this potential partnership can only benefit those players who have a desire to attend school in the states and the game in general.