A basketball team that was previously known as the “barefoot giants from the mountains” won the Barcelona Cup in Spain yesterday, after winning every game they played.
The Triquis gained international fame in 2013 not only by winning an international tournament in Argentina but by doing so while playing barefoot. At the time, coach Sergio Zúñiga said playing without shoes was a reflection of the poverty in their indigenous community in the northeastern region of the state of Oaxaca.
But the federal government has since provided the team of 13 and 14-year-old boys with uniforms — including shoes.
The team’s trip to the Barcelona tournament, held Friday through Sunday, was its third. They defeated teams from Spain, France and Belgium to win the cup.
The Triqui basketball team was formed in 2009 to help the community’s children through sports, “to go to school, play basketball, to get away from the mountains, to see other parts of the world,” said coach Zúñiga.
The principal requirement to get on the team is to have good grades: 8.5 out of 10 in elementary school.