HAVANA, Cuba (CBSMiami) — Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal touched down in Cuba as an official emissary of the United States in an effort to strengthen ties between the two nations.
O’Neal hosted a basketball clinic for kids on the Havana courts as part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored mission to open up people-to-people exchanges with Cuban citizens and to “demonstrate how sports can serve as a means of developing academic, leadership, and teamwork skills,” the State Dept. said in a press release.
Shaq’s visit is meant to build “on the momentum of President Obama’s historic March trip to Cuba.”
The former Miami Heat star and 4-time NBA champion led kids in shooting drills and coached pickup games on Sunday while dozens cheered from the sidelines.
“During his time in the country, O’Neal will visit historically significant cultural sites in Havana to encourage positive ties between the U.S. and Cuban people,” the press release added.
O’Neal landed on the island Saturday, June 25th and he’s scheduled to leave June 28th.
CBSlocal.com, June 26, 2016