By Nicholas Williams ’21
Brophy teacher Mr. Ivan Flores has quite the unique basketball history prior to his arrival at Brophy in 2018.
Mr. Flores grew up in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the northern coastal valley. It has a population of approximately 208,000.
He started playing basketball at the age of 8 years old when a friend wanted him to play with him on his team due to his tall stature.
“From that moment, I never stopped being a part of basketball, whether as a player or as a coach,” Mr. Flores said.
Flores then went on to play four years of high school basketball, where he would win the Puerto Rico National championship during his junior year in 1989.
He played as a guard as he was no longer one of the biggest guys on his team like he was when he was younger.
From there, he was awarded a basketball scholarship to the University of Puerto Rico. He played there for two years, and won another championship during his second year there in 1991.
During both high school and college, he was already starting his coaching career as he coached middle school kids.
After years of playing basketball in school, Mr. Flores transitioned into a full time coach.
His first professional coaching gig was for a women’s basketball team in Puerto Rico. Over a span of several years, he coached two teams and won 7 championships as a result.
One of his players, who was originally from Trinidad and Tobago, recommended Mr. Flores to wbe a coach for the Trinidad and Tobago national team from 2011 to 2012.
Then in 2014, He was a coach for the male and female national team of Puerto Rico in a competition called “Centroamericanos,” which is one of the qualifiers for the Olympics that was held in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
If teams are able to get through the “Centroamericanos”, then they qualify to play in the Panamericanos, and then if teams pass that stage, they are then qualified into the Olympics.
Both the mens and womens teams moved on to the Panamericanos, but were not able to get all the way to the Olympics.
After this, he continued coaching in Puerto Rico, and prior to his move to Brophy, he was coaching highschool, college, and professional basketball all at the same time due to their non-conflicting schedules.
“Basketball for me, has always been and will continue to be a huge part of my life.” Mr. Flores said.