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 10:30 - 17:30 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
A superb combination of great accommodation and exciting activities make this resort one of Cuba's hottest properties
- Previous winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and ranked in the top 5 Hotels in Varadero
- Full range of Spa treatments for a more relaxing break, or a selection of water and land sports to choose from for the more active traveller
- Couples can benefit from a free bottle of sparkling wine and a romantic dinner for two, plus a 30 min massage per couple
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
The unlimited heaven of tranquility in a perfect setting
- Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is a great base to discover Havana's historic Old Town.
- Activities throughout the day at Iberostar Varadero Hotel , including aerobics, archery, basketball, beach volleyball, football, kayaking and more.
- The luxurious 5 star accommodation ensures a comfortable adventure.
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Soak up the history of Havana as well as the magnificence of Varadero beach on an unforgettable twin centre holiday to...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Beyond its sober elegance of Mudejar roots and the presence of round arches and red clay tile roof, it is known for its...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Bellevue Palma Real Varadero is a special hotel as it is authentically Cuban in every respect, from the food to the...