Chris Ortiz has been so many different places this summer, yet he still doesn’t know where he’ll end up for school next month. The 6-foot-7 forward says he is “not sure” whether or not he’ll return to Lincoln, the place he transferred to from Christ the King in December.
“It’s on my mother,” Ortiz said after competing with the U18 Puerto Rico national team in an exhibition against the EBC high-school all-stars at Rucker Park. “It’s whatever she wants to do. My mother knows what’s best for me, so she’s going to tell me where to go. She’s gonna guide me. I’m just waiting on her. She said just wants to wait until all my basketball is done so me and her can sit down, talk about everything — what I want to do after high school and what high school is going to be the best to determine that.”
Ortiz says he hasn’t been home since early July. He was with the Puerto Rican team in June at the FIBA U18 World Championships, where he enjoyed a strong tournament.
Ortiz worked his way into the starting lineup with nine points and seven rebounds in the team’s second game against Canada and was one of its best players from there on out. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds against Uruguay and 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in a consolation game against the Virgin Islands.
“It was my first time playing international basketball and I was also playing up an age group,” said Ortiz, who will be a senior next year. “We played a lot of pros from Europe. It was a great experience.”
After that, he went on the road with the Westchester Hawks AAU team, advancing to the final eight in the AAU Super Showcase in Kissimme, Fla. Ortiz says he doesn’t know what interest from colleges he picked up in July because he hasn’t been home to check out any letters sent to him. Immediately after the evaluation period, he headed down to Puerto Rico to practice with the national team, which is hoping to improve upon its 1-3 mark in next year’s U19 tournament.
“We didn’t play as well as we thought we should have,” Ortiz said. “The coaches thought it would be a good idea to practice longer so everybody gets used to each other.”
He plans on competing for Puerto Rico, where his father hails from, next summer. But as for the coming weeks, Ortiz’s destination is still up in the air.