The NBA announced the launch an exploratory clinic in Cuba to expand its reach into the once forbidden country in the wake of President Obama’s bid to normalize relations with communist nation.
The NBA is set to become the first American professional sports league to reach into Cuba after outlining plans to host a four-day basketball clinic scheduled for Havana from April 23-26.
Attending the four-day development camp and youth clinics will be Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, and recently-retired point guard Steve Nash, as well as NBA coaches Quin Snyder of Utah and James Borrego of Orlando.
The WNBA will also send representatives to promulgate women’s basketball. Participants will include recent WNBA retiree Ticha Penicheiro.
The events will be held under the watchful eyes of the Cuban sports ministry and the Cuban Basketball Federation.
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said he thinks that the sport of basketball can help bring our two nations together.
“We’ve seen the bridges that basketball can build between cultures,” Tatum told The New York Times.
Though Cuba boasts just two past NBA players—Seattle’s Lazaro Borrell and Minnesota’s Andres Guibert—for decades the island nation sent both men’s and women’s teams to compete in the Olympics and the Pan-American Games.
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