HAVANA (AP) _ Former NBA greats Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo have opened their training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game’s popularity on the communist-run island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana.
The flags of Cuba and the United States flew at the Havana university where the four-day camp began Thursday. Nash, a former MVP, and Mutumbo, a Hall of Fame inductee, were joined by ex-WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches in teaching the more than 100 athletes.
“Basketball is a bridge that can unite people and cultures so I am happy to be here,” Mutumbo said.
The NBA is the first U.S. professional league to visit Cuba since the detente announcement. Basketball is Cuba’s fourth most-popular sport, after baseball, boxing and soccer.