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Denton: The Pinnacle of Success

By John Denton
February 25, 2010

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

NEW ORLEANS – Joey Colon is a one-of-a-kind type of bombastic broadcaster and a trail blazer/hero to many back in his native Puerto Rico, but that’s not the aspect of the Orlando Magic Spanish broadcaster’s unlikely rise that he’s most proud of.

Colon, you see, is a survivor and someone who climbed to the pinnacle of his profession despite a rough upbringing. Seemingly all the odds were stacked against Colon, yet there he is courtside on a nightly basis calling Magic games, wildly waving his arms and living out a boyhood dream.

``I live every single second of the games,’’ said Colon, who is in his 12th season as the Magic’s Spanish broadcaster. ``When you love the sport like I do and even though I didn’t get to the professional level, I live through every second of every Magic game. When I’m talking basketball and behind the mic, it’s such a huge part of my life.’’

To understand Colon’s passion, you must first understand his path.

Colon was raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico, a Southeastern coast town of approximately 40,000 people. He didn’t have much growing up in terms of money or even support, but still he thrived because of an unbreakable will. Raised by his grandmother, Juana Ortiz, Colon didn’t meet his mother, Hermina, until he was 16 and only recently spoke to his father, Joey Colon Sr., over the phone. The two have yet to ever see each other face to face.

At a young age, Colon threw himself into basketball as a diversion for some of the things missing in his life. Almost instantly, a love affair with the game began and still burns hot today. He still talks of how he and his uncle would jog the two miles each way to the local gym to watch the travelling team play basketball.

Colon eventually made it to Orlando where he played basketball at Boone and Colonial High Schools. After graduating from Catolica Universidad in 1995, Colon started his broadcast career back in Orlando. It is a journey he proudly tells now to many children during his regular visits back to Puerto Rico.

``All the thanks go to my grandmother, who got me to the right direction in life,’’ he said. ``We were pretty poor coming up, and to me that just makes my story even better. If kids in Puerto Rico can say, `He made it from here, took advantage of an opportunity and is living his dream, then boom, I can make it too.’’’