NBA to join in historic development camp in Cuba
The National Basketball Association co-hosts a development camp in Cuba this month, becoming the first U.S. pro sports league to visit the Caribbean country since America announced plans to restore ties with its longtime adversary.
The NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) are co-hosting the camp in Havana April 23-26.
Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, and WNBA Legend Ticha Penicheiro will lead the four-day camp with the Cuban Men’s and Women’s National Teams, the league said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mutombo, an eight-time NBA All-Star who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo has long been active in community work and basketball development in Africa.
The camp will also include community outreach projects in association with the Cuban sports ministry (INDER) and the Cuban Basketball Federation (CBF).
For the first time, the NBA and FIBA will invite two players and one coach from Cuba to participate in the Basketball without Borders camp.
“This is a great day for Cuban basketball and our federation,” said CBF President Ruperto Herrera.
“To have both the NBA and FIBA collaborate on youth instruction and the development of the game in our country is magnificent. We thank the Republic of Cuba and INDER for opening the doors for these basketball camps that will end up benefiting the future of national and international basketball.”
Through NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibil- ity program, the NBA and FIBA will refurbish three basketball courts and host youth basketball clinics at two Havana locations.
Orlando Magic Head Coach James Borrego, Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz Assistant Coach Brad Jones, USA Basketball Youth Development Coach Don Showalter, and Director of Basketball Academy of the Americas Victor Ojeda will participate in training camp efforts for the Cuban Men’s and Women’s National Teams at the 18-andover level and for juniors.
The coaches will be joined by Washington Wizards Vice President of Basketball Administration Tommy Sheppard, New York Knicks Associate Athletic Trainer Anthony Goenaga, and FIBA Americas Referee Geraldo Fontana to host workshops for coaches, trainers, and other sports professionals.