The University of Louisville Women's Basketball Head Coach Jeff Walz and Bowling Green State University Head Coach Jennifer Roos took their teams to Cuba with Sport Tours International in August. First Louisville and then BGSU broke the ice for NCAA women’s teams by being the first two college women’s basketball teams to visit Cuba in decades. Besides touring Havana and Varadero, both teams played three games, conducted clinics and graduated from formal salsa classes.
Here's a look into their trips:
The third Louisville game was “rain delayed.” Bad weather luck had rain and wind blowing in the wrong direction and parts of the open air Mariposa Arena were wet.
When the Cardinals entered the open-air Mariposa Arena, the Cuban National Team players were sitting in a dry area. The fun-loving Cardinal players, naturally, slid in the middle of the Cuban girls and, immediately, began a lively discussion.
Meanwhile, on the wet part of the floor and benches…
Those who know Jeff Walz are not surprised by this picture. He marshalled his staff and they wiped the floor dry, ready for an on time start. However, remember Pic 1, the game was then delayed by the ladies getting to know each other.
Falcon women get A+ from Cuban Salsa lesson.
Taught by internationally renowned salsa dancer Noydee Fonseca, the Bowling Green State women learned seven moves and wowed their partners. In two hours, they were doing the Cuban Rueda, (salsa circle), not easy for Americans.
Coach Roos conducting clinic with Cuban players.
The Cuban Federation was grateful that both coaches conducted four clinics for the national players, coaches, student coaches and under-12 boys and girls.