Friday, June 14, 2024

Oaxaca’s indigenous basketball team wins Las Vegas tournament

A team of indigenous Triqui youths from Oaxaca has once again claimed victory in an international basketball competition.

The “Giants of the Mountain,” as the team is also known, beat another from San Francisco 52-43 to win first place in the “Jam on It” tournament in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The “Niños Triqui” team is coached by Sergio Zúñiga, a former professional basketball player who moved to Oaxaca in 2009 to found the Indigenous Basketball Academy of Mexico, a program to promote sports among indigenous youth.

The Triqui team received media attention in 2013 when it won an international competition in Argentina playing barefoot, which Zúñiga said was a reflection of their impoverished backgrounds. After that, the government provided the team with uniforms and shoes.

The players have continued to dominate in international tournaments, including the Barcelona Cup in 2016 and the Jam On It tournaments.

Barefoot Niños Triquis in 2014.
Barefoot Niños Triquis in 2014.

On his Facebook page, coach Zúñiga said the team is currently in Los Angeles to train, visit universities and play scrimmage games.

“To win, you need talent, to do it again, you need character,” he wrote. “Next year, we’re going for our third championship.”

Source: SDP Noticias (sp)

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