Saluki Men's Basketball Heads to Cuba

Aug 1, 2018

The SIU men's basketball team is preparing to make a trip to Cuba.

The team leaves this weekend and will play three games next week against the Cuban National Team.

Saluki head coach Barry Hinson says this is about more than basketball. He says it's a humanitarian trip as well.

"We're going to do two kids clinics while we're there. We're going to do a bunch of stuff. My wife has bought a bunch of coloring books and crayons because the children there, they don't have the opportunity for that. We're going to take little trinkets. We're going to take stuff from SIU. We're just going to try to be the best ambassador that we can be not only for our country, but our university and our community.

Saluki senior guard Armon Fletcher says he's looking forward to the youth basketball clinics.

"That'll be a nice thing to do for those children to have that experience for an American team to come in, teach them some things."

Junior guard Aaron Cook says he can't wait to take salsa dancing lessons.

"I'm kind of nervous for it because I might be the worst dancer out of all of us. But, I'm excited at the same time, because it's just a different experience."

Cook says he was surprised to learn about some of the cultural differences. For instance, he says blowing your nose in public is a sign of disrespect in Cuba.