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NBA to become first U.S. professional sports league to visit Cuba

2013 Global Games - Shanghai

2013 Global Games - Shanghai

NBAE/Getty Images

The NBA will become the first U.S. professional sports league to visit Cuba, when it hosts a basketball development camp in Havana later this month.

From the official release:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced today that they will host their first joint basketball development camp in Havana, Cuba April 23-26.

Two-time NBA MVP 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, and community outreach projects in association with the Cuban sports ministry, INDER, and the Cuban Basketball Federation (CBF). ...

“We’ve seen the bridges that basketball can build between cultures,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. “We look forward to sharing the values of our game with Cuban youth and learning together through the common language of sports.”

President Barack Obama ordered relations with Cuba to be normalized in December, via the Associated Press.

The NBA has long been working to increase its global audience, and has played both exhibition and regular season games internationally in recent seasons.