NBA legends open basketball training camp in Cuba
Basketball legends Dikembe Mutombo and Steve Nash opened a basketball training camp in Cuba last week. The four-day camp started last Thursday at Havana University and featured former WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches who taught more than 100 athletes in a bid to boost the game's population on the Caribbean island.
Basketball players Dikembe Mutombo and Steve Nash opened a basketball training camp at Havana University last week in a bid to boost the game's population.
The four-day camp started last Thursday in the capital of Cuba and the two basketball legends were joined by former WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches who helped coach more than 100 athletes.
Mutumbo, a Congolese American retired professional basketball player who played 18 seasons in the NBA, explained:
"As you know, basketball is a sport that can connect people, give them a bridge for cultural change.
"I'm glad that we're about to build this bridge that will help so many young men and women here in Cuba to develop the game of basketball."
The NBA is the first professional sport league from the United States to visit Cuba since the Obama administration announced that travel restrictions to Cuba would be relaxed. Basketball is the fourth most-popular sport on the Caribbean communist island after baseball, boxing and football, and the country's women's teams are leaders in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) games played in Latin America.
Despite the travel restrictions for Cubans for the past 60 years, the game of basketball is very popular on the island and many local residents play on street courts. As part of the four-day training camp, the NBA and FIBA plan to renovate three basket courts. Mutumbo also commented:
"Our job is to expand our game globally. It's a very historical trip."
Felipe Chavez, a 16-year-old player from Havana, watched every move played by the professional players and said it was:
"... a great opportunity to develop, to work on technique and the mental aspect of the game. I'd like to get to the top level of my sport and that's the NBA."
The Cuban players are hoping to be chosen for an NBA and FIBA training camp called "Basketball without Borders" that will be held in the Dominican Republic in the near future.
President Obama's announced late last year that Cuba travel restrictions will be eased for American residents after a travel embargo lasting more than 60 years was relaxed.
While general tourism has not yet been approved as a reason to visit Cuba, American residents can now visit the Caribbean island for educational, religious, academic and cultural, family and sports purposes across 12 categories.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Dive into the warm water of Varadero beach and relax under the caribbean sunshine
- Book now and benefit from huge savings with the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic to Varadero offer!
- Suites feature a separate living area and Tropical suites feature breathtaking views of the sea
- Golf lovers can play on the nearby Varadero 18 hole golf course
Enjoy an amazing twin centre full of enjoyment for everyone at occidental miramar and breezes bella costa
The two hotels combine for an amazing holiday experience fit for everyone from couples to families at occidental miramar and breezes bella
- The Memories Miramar Havana is located in an elegant residential neighbourhood of Miramar and enjoys beautiful ocean views
- Both hotels offer fantastic amenities and facilities which makes the hotels a great choice for both families and couples
- Bella Costa is located on one of the world's finest beaches - Varadero
Indulge in a couples special retreat that includes a Deluxe Havana City Break and Luxury Adults-Only All Inclusive Beach Escape in Varadero
- The perfect 5* multi centre mixing exciting city life with a pampering beach retreat in romantic Cuba
- The luxury all suite Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort and Spa is situated on the pristine Varadero beach
- Melia Habana is the perfect base for exploring all that Cuba has to offer and also offers a free shuttle to and from the Old City Centre
Enjoy the exciting nightlife the Melia Marina Varadero Hotel has to offer, whilst relaxing during the day in the beautiful accommodation
- Melia Marina Varadero Hotel is ideally located 300m from the beach in an ecological reserve with a dolphinarium and caves to explore
- Incredible all-inclusive benefits with dining at 9 restaurants at Melia Marina Varadero Hotel
- Excellent watersports facilities including yachting, fishing and diving
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Fancy a charming and adventurous holiday? Why not try our twin centre package that allows you to explore the contagious...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...