User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Shoeless Mexico Indian kids win at hoops

MEXICO CITY (AP) - A team of Trique Indian boys swept through a youth basketball tournament despite their generally short stature and the fact that most play barefoot, earning acclaim in Mexico and abroad.

Advertisement
The team from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca won all six of its games to become this year's champions at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held recently in Argentina.

Other teams in the tournament dubbed the boys the ''the barefoot mice from Mexico'' because they are smaller than the other competitors, said Ernesto Merino, one of the team's coaches and a Trique Indian. He said they compensate for their short stature with ''strength, speed and resistance.''

Children are given tennis shoes when they join the team, but many don't wear the sneakers because they are accustomed to going barefoot, Merino said.

Merino said they grow up in large, poor families who struggle to find the money to buy clothes and shoes.

''For them it's normal to not have shoes, to walk barefoot,'' he said.

The team's performance won it a minute of applause Wednesday on the floor of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, as well as accolades from basketball experts, among them Horacio Muratore, president of the International Basketball Federation-Americas, which organizes the annual tournament.

''These boys deserved (the championship) more than anyone,'' Muratore wrote on the organization's website.

The boys' achievement has come at a particularly sensitive time for Mexico, which is agonizing over the poor performance of its once well-regarded national soccer team. The Tri, as it's known, has barely kept its hopes alive for qualifying for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Merino said the boys who played at the tournament held in Cordoba, Argentina, are part of a basketball program designed to help poor children in Oaxaca, which is one of Mexico's poorest and most marginalized areas. The Oaxaca state government gives them tennis shoes, uniforms and a monthly $46 stipend.

''We see a basketball as an opportunity to grow in life,'' Merino said.

The program was started three years ago and it currently has 40 children enrolled, including five girls.

To enter the program, children must have good grades in school, speak their native tongue and help with chores at home.

''We want them to be prepared in life,'' Merino said.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Win Total Update - November
Pacers rally to beat Clippers, 111-102
Ibaka lifts Magic over Pistons, 98-92
Knicks stay hot, hold off Kings 106-98
Westbrook posts 5th straight triple-double
Kerr's admission could spark dialogue
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
10-2 L12, 13-4 L17 NBA Picks
35-17 Run, +1,489 This Year
4-0 Record Last 4 Days
10-5 L7 Days, 7-3 L10 Guarantees
8-3 L11 Guaranteed Plays
5-1 L6 G-Plays, +1,341 This Year
11-3 L14 G-Plays, 12-5 L17 Picks
6-2 NBA Guarantees TY
6-3 L9 Picks, 12-5 L17 G-Plays
6-2 Last 8 NBA Selections
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Chip Chirimbes
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 1441
Chip Chirimbes + 1387
Zack Cimini + 400
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 459
Kevin Rogers + 374
ASA + 318
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Andy Iskoe 75 %
Chip Chirimbes 61 %
Doc's Sports 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 1008
Alex Smart + 897
ASA + 573
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 628
ASA + 368
Paul Bovi + 353
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 470
Mark Franco + 467
Jimmy Boyd + 459
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership