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Shaquille O'Neal offers basketball workshop to Cuban youths

Shaquille O'Neal offers basketball workshop to Cuban youths

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 26, 2016

U.S. basketball's legendary Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday offered a clinic in the sport to a group of Cuban youths at a public court in this capital as part of a program to promote international cooperation and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Cuba.

O'Neal told reporters that he had wanted to come to Cuba for a long time and that it had been his dream to be selected as U.S. sports ambassador to extend a "friendly hand" to the communist island and help improve bilateral relations.

The 44-year-old star, who arrived in the Cuban capital on Saturday, is offering a public basketball clinic as part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored mission to foster face-to-face exchanges with Cubans.

He said he loved Cuba and its people, and it's great that the two nations - long at odds - can get closer to one another via sports such as baseball, soccer and basketball.

O'Neal - ranked No. 7 in overall points scored in the NBA with 28,596 over his 19 seasons - is a four-time NBA champion, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, an Olympic and world champion.

He coached the kids in layup drills and scrimmages on Sunday while spectators cheered at courtside.

After demonstrating his ball-handling talents, he presented the workshop participants with jerseys bearing his name.

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