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Basketball diplomacy: Former NBA greats teach Cuban players basketball in post-detente visit

  • NBA Orlando Magic interim coach James Borrego, left, and former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo conduct their first clinic for Cuban basketball players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Mutombo, along with former NBA great Steve Nash, has opened a training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game's popularity on the communist-run island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

    NBA Orlando Magic interim coach James Borrego, left, and former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo conduct their first clinic for Cuban basketball players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Mutombo, along with former NBA great Steve Nash, has opened a training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game's popularity on the communist-run island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, center, and NBA Orlando Magic interim coach James Borrego, left, conduct their first NBA clinic for Cuban basketball players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Former Los Angeles Lakers' player Steve Nash and Mutumbo, a Hall of Fame inductee, were joined by ex-WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches in teaching the more than 100 Cuban basketball athletes, hoping to boost the game's popularity on the island. (AP Photo/Desmond Boyland)

    Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, center, and NBA Orlando Magic interim coach James Borrego, left, conduct their first NBA clinic for Cuban basketball players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Former Los Angeles Lakers' player Steve Nash and Mutumbo, a Hall of Fame inductee, were joined by ex-WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches in teaching the more than 100 Cuban basketball athletes, hoping to boost the game's popularity on the island. (AP Photo/Desmond Boyland)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, center, arrives with members of his team for the inauguration of first NBA basketball training camp for Cuban players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Former NBA greats Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo have opened their training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game's popularity in the island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

    Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, center, arrives with members of his team for the inauguration of first NBA basketball training camp for Cuban players in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 23, 2015. Former NBA greats Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo have opened their training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game's popularity in the island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)  (The Associated Press)

Former NBA greats Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo have opened their training camp for Cuban basketball players, hoping to boost the game's popularity on the communist-run island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana.

The flags of Cuba and the United States flew at the Havana university where the four-day camp began Thursday. Nash, a former MVP, and Mutumbo, a Hall of Fame inductee, were joined by ex-WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches in teaching the more than 100 athletes.

"Basketball is a bridge that can unite people and cultures so I am happy to be here," Mutumbo said.

The NBA is the first U.S. professional league to visit Cuba since the detente announcement. Basketball is Cuba's fourth most-popular sport, after baseball, boxing and soccer.