HoopsHype Mexico rumors

December 4, 2013 Updates

The San Antonio Spurs lost badly Tuesday in Mexico City to a team of 4-feet-tall opponents. It wasn’t even close: 10-4. To be fair, the Spurs had to play barefoot. And they weren’t playing against any ordinary team. The kids who ran circles around the likes of shoeless NBA stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are Triqui boys from Rio Venado, a remote mountain village in one of southern Mexico’s poorest regions. Washington Post

October 17, 2013 Updates

But in recent years, crossing the U.S. border has gone from difficult to dangerous to nearly impossible, and this has thrown the Triqui world out of whack. Fewer Triquis go north. Those already on the other side are stuck there. The ones who remain behind — often grand­parents and children — live by hard-luck farming and government handouts. What’s left is basketball. “Their hunger and poverty is their potential,” said Sergio Zuñiga, the tall, soft-spoken outsider who the Triquis call “Coach.” “It is their way out,” he said. Washington Post

Not likely to the NBA. The tallest known Triqui is about 5-foot-10. But Zuñiga is in no hurry to burst the hoop dreams of the kids under his care. His goals are more modest, although still a long shot for a boy or girl from Rio Venado. Learn to read and write Spanish. Attend high school in Oaxaca, the state capital, and maybe even go on to college. Have career options beyond sneaking over the U.S. border or sharecropping a cornfield. Washington Post

Her backing helped him bring a team of Triqui kids in July to an international youth tournament in Orlando, where they beat a few U.S. teams and stunned organizers by asking to play barefoot. The kids had never been on an airplane before, let alone to another country. “Disney World,” said Daysi?Martinez, 12, when asked what she liked about the United States. “I saw a princess.” Washington Post

His teams specialize in an up-tempo, relentless style of play that compensates for their diminutive size, and their tournament victories against kids from other parts of Mexico have caught the attention of basketball coaches elsewhere. Two of Zuñiga’s assistants have recently landed coaching jobs at high schools in other states, blazing a new career path for Triquis. Washington Post

October 16, 2013 Updates

A team of Trique Indian boys from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca are sweeping through youth basketball competitions, despite their generally short stature _ and the fact that most play barefoot. One of the Trique team coaches says many of boys can’t afford sneakers and have become accustomed to playing without them. The team won all six of its games at the recent International Festival of Mini-Basketball held in Argentina. Washington Times

October 7, 2013 Updates
September 12, 2013 Updates

Gustavo Ayón and Mexico completed their improbable run to the FIBA Americas Championship game with a 91-89 win over Puerto Rico Wednesday night. Ayón scored 20 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds to complete a magnificent individual tournament performance that crowned him MVP. Ayón also made the all-tournament team, averaging 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds. Puerto Rico and Mexico exchanged leads throughout the fourth quarter, and the Puerto Ricans missed an open three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it. hawks.com

September 11, 2013 Updates
August 30, 2013 Updates

Oh baby ... World Peace has gone south of the border with his lady friend, Maya Ford. This should be fun. He didn't choose the usual tourist spots of Cancun or Cabo though. He's going to see the real Mexico. FOXSports.com

June 25, 2013 Updates
April 2, 2013 Updates

SUNS.COM: What have you been up to most recently, and is the game still a major part of your life? HORACIO LLAMAS: Yeah, I’m in Cancun playing for a team in the Mexican league. The league that we’re a part of plays teams from all over Central American, from Mexico to South America. We’re in the semifinals of our playoffs right now, and last year we won it. This run has been really important for us. NBA.com

October 7, 2012 Updates

Sunday’s face-off between the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets marked the 20th exhibition game to be played in Mexico, the most of any country outside the United States or Canada, and the first such game at the brand new Mexico City Arena. The NBA already has concrete plans to expand its Mexican footprint. “Next year and the year after that there will be regular season games here, which is really huge,” said Cedric Ceballos, a former NBA player turned league ambassador. “Those two years are the big test to see what happens.” Gulf News

Given the proximity to the United States, Ceballos said a future franchise in Mexico City would be a natural fit. “Now that there’s a building that can house an NBA team, where we can play regular season games, it’s a natural place to be thinking about it,” said Moggio. Gulf News

September 9, 2012 Updates

Is there any truth to the reports that you'll be playing games in the Mexican League next month? Shaquille O'Neal: "No truth to that. It's kind of unfortunate that so-called experts have to get their sources from the Internet. It's backwards. Especially like when people from ESPN know me and they can call me and ask me, but somebody else said it so they want to be the first to report it even though it's not true. However, we could talk, but nobody has contacted me." New Orleans Times-Picayune

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