Shaquille O'Neal becomes first US sports envoy to Cuba

 25 Jun 2016 - 11:00

Shaquille O'Neal becomes first US sports envoy to Cuba
 

By Esra Kaymak Avci 
WASHINGTON: NBA great and Hall of Fame inductee Shaquille O’Neal will serve as the first-ever Basketball Sports Envoy to Cuba, the State Department said Friday.
"This people-to-people program taps into the unique strength of sports -- including basketball -- to reach out to young people and promote cooperation and engagement in Cuba," according to a statement by the agency. 
"O’Neal will draw on his personal basketball and business background to highlight the importance of social inclusion and respect for diversity," it added. 
The announcement comes three months after President Barack Obama made an historic trip to Cuba in an effort to further normalize relations between the two Cold War foes. 
During a June 25-28 trip, the 15-time NBA all-star will be joined by Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Kaleb Canales, where the pair will lead youth clinics for youth and demonstrate how sports can serve as a means of developing academic, leadership and teamwork skills.

AA