Mavs' Barea, Girlfriend Expecting Child

By Lita Beck
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 10:49 AM CDT
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Dallas Mavericks: 2011 NBA Champs

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JJ Barea and Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera attend the official Miss USA 2011 after party at Chateau Nightclub and Gardens at Paris Las Vegas on June 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Dallas Mavericks player J.J. Barea and his girlfriend, former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, are expecting their first child, according to reports in a Puerto Rico newspaper.

Barea and Rivera both confirmed the pregnancy in statements to Primera Hora. Rivera is seven weeks pregnant, the newspaper reported.

In a statement to the paper, Barea said in Spanish that he and Rivera were "very happy" about the news and thanked everyone for their support.

"We appreciate everybody's support and affection that we have received, and we ask that you give us private time to enjoy this addition to our family," he said.

Rivera, an actress and model, will leave the telenovela "Corazón Apasionado" because of the pregnancy.

She said it took her by surprise but feels very fortunate.

"I come from a very united family, and I understand that a baby is a blessing," Rivera said in Spanish in her statement to Primera Hora. "I regret having to leave the soap opera, since it was an opportunity for me to grow as an actress and as a professional."

"However, J.J and I are happy to start a family together, and we know that God will give us a healthy baby and many more opportunities in other ways," she said.

Rivera said she and Barea do not have plans to wed.

Barea will be an unrestricted free agent once the NBA lockout ends. He has said that would like to stay with the Mavericks but has also said he would be open to playing for other teams.

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