The NBA will hold a basketball camp in Cuba later this month, marking the first professional sports league in the United States to visit the country since President Barack Obama ordered diplomatic relations between the countries to be restored.
A four-day development camp will be held from April 23-26.
Former two-time MVP Steve Nash, Dikembe Mutombo, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, former WNBA star Ticha Penicheiro, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Orlando Magic coach James Borrego, Jazz assistant Brad Jones and USA Basketball youth development coach Don Showalter are expected to attend.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said he hopes that the camp is the “beginning of a long and positive relationship with the Cuban Basketball Federation.”
"Of all of the places we've been to, it's amazing to think this is the first time the NBA will be hosting events in that country," Tatum said, according to USA Today.
The league started discussions with FIBA, basketball's world governing body, and the Cuban Basketball Federation about a setting up a camp after Obama’s announcement that the two countries agreedto revive diplomatic ties for the first time in six decades. Obama also said he wanted to lift an economic embargo.
The NBA and FIBA will refurbish three basketball courts in Havana plus hold clinics for coaches and referees.
"We got our team together and discussed the possibility of hosting a basketball camp in Cuba. ... Everyone was excited about the possibility of going down there and trying to do something," Tatum said.
Cuba’s men’s basketball team has participated in six Summer Olympic games and won the bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich.
- Scooby Axson