NBA's J.J. Barea, ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera split

San Juan, Apr 19 (EFE).- Pro basketballer J.J. Barea and former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera confirmed Friday their separation after two years together.

The couple are the parents of 1-year-old Sebastian Jose.

Barea, member of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, said in a press release that he decided to admit the split to stop the rumors that have been doing the rounds over the past few months.

"I understand that my private life should belong to me alone, but seeing the insinuations that have appeared in the media that are not true, I decided to deal with the situation and speak openly about it. Zuleyka and I have not been together for some time," Barea said.

He added that despite the separation, he and Rivera have maintained "a healthy communication for the good of our beloved son," and as for his ex-girlfriend, the hoopster said he admires and respects her as a woman and the mother of his son, and that it will always be that way.

"We're both adult, mature people so I believe our priority will be above all the well-being of our son, and secondly, the success of our careers," the 28-year-old point guard said.

Rivera, 25, said that despite their breakup, "life goes on and I go forward with my head held high and with the certainty that soon all this will be over."

The singer and actress also said she will be a full-time mom for her little boy, since he "has been, is and will always be my only priority, the purpose of my life and the reason why I will keep fighting."