Marc J. Spears: The NBA will host its first NBA Week Mexico City 2021, a multi-day celebration of the growth of basketball and the NBA in Mexico ahead of the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. NBA Week Mexico City 2021, which will take place from Sept. 23 –Oct. 3. pic.twitter.com/XFjgF1KE22
The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a multiyear agreement with La Loma Centro Deportivo (La Loma), a world-class athletic facility in San Luis Potosí renowned for developing top athletes from around the world, to host the first NBA Basketball School in Mexico. The NBA Basketball School program will launch with a week-long camp from July 26-30 for male and female players ages 6-18 and will feature events at La Loma on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Former NBA player Horacio Llamas, the first Mexican-born player in NBA history, will participate as a guest coach in the first camp, which will include a series of sessions focused on on-court development, strength and conditioning and basketball education. Former Mexican professional basketball player Enrique Zuñiga and other local coaches will also participate.
Booker’s mom is Mexican American, and his grandfather was born in Nogales, Mexico, a town near the southern border of Arizona. To the Gutiérrezes, both of whom are first-generation Americans with Mexican parents, Booker’s background is a source of pride. And many other local fans feel similarly. Gerardo was at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport two weeks ago when the team returned from Los Angeles after clinching a Finals berth, and he recalls fans chanting “Si se puede” (Yes, we can) as the players walked through. And while the Gutiérrez brothers and other Latino fans have plenty of respect and appreciation for a player like Chris Paul, whose arrival last offseason helped turn the Suns into a contender, what they feel for Booker is something much greater: a cultural connection.