Al Horford, a Dominican basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks, and his girlfriend, the singer and ex-Miss Universe Amelia Vega, were married on Christmas Eve in an intimate ceremony with their families, media reports said.

The ceremony was held at the home of the singer's uncle and aunt, the famous Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, and his wife, Nora Vega de Guerra.

The report said the marriage came as something of a surprise because the newlyweds had not previously confirmed their engagement, and because few among the guests even knew they were going to a wedding.

Local media said the ceremony was simple but emotional, attended only by the couple's parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and other close relatives.

The two tied the knot on Christmas Eve because the NBA's 2011-2012 season began on Sunday after being shortened due to a lengthy lockout.

In 2003 the model Amelia Vega became the first Dominican to win the Miss Universe crown, which she did months before turning 19.

After passing the title on to her successor, the Dominican living in Miami opened two exclusive clothing stores there, hosted television programs and this year launched her first album, "Agua Dulce" (Fresh Water).

"The model and television host wore a white wedding gown that highlighted her natural beauty that undoubtedly won Horford's heart - the groom continually showed his feelings throughout a ceremony in which the happiness of the newlyweds and the love they share was never hidden," the press said.

Horford, 25, has played his three NBA seasons with the Hawks, where he averaged 12 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Before turning professional, the Dominican player led the University of Florida to two NCAA titles in 2006 y 2007.

The couple did announce that "soon" they will celebrate a more public ceremony, which they will share with their friends, the press and their fans.

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