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Friday, July 29, 2016

CARDS WBB trip to Cuba -- A few details -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


With the first exhibition game scheduled for Saturday, August 6th...we are getting a few details on UofL WBB's trip to Cuba. 

Our writer-on-hiatus Jenny O'Bryan is making the trip and had offered to do a blog on her experiences there. We will publish whatever Jenny sends us here. We have been told that the internet infrastructure in Cuba is minimal at how soon we get reports from her will depend on that. Also, our old buddy Don Russell will be down there with A.J. We have been informed that there will be no signal coming out of Cuba for live viewing or listening to the games. 

The Cards will play on Saturday, Sunday and Monday...August 6th through 8th. They'll face the Cuban National team (Primero) once and the Cuban junior team (Segundo) twice. 

The Cuban National team, as of a month ago, was comprised of nine Cuban and three Brazilian players from the country's Liga Superior league...encompassing six cities.  Camaguay's Leidis Oquendo led the league in scoring. She's listed at 180 centimeters...roughly 5'9". The Cubans didn't fare so well in an international "friendly" in Spain last month...falling to the Canadians and the Spanish.   

It is a great cultural experience for these student-athletes and the fans making the trip. What exactly we'll find out about the 2016-17 probably won't be a whole lot...we expect Walz to distribute playing time pretty equally among the players making the trip. What the players will gain in terms of history, cultural differences and travel is incredibly valuable and a lifetime opportunity. 

As more develops on the trip, we'll let you know.



  1. Hey Paulie - As you know I'm all about ULWBB but I'm not seeing the benefit of the Cuba thingy with our kids. It appears to have been promoted by some political faction at U of L. It certainly isn't about the quality of ball that will be played vs Cuba because they just aren't that good. Our kids would get a better workout against their male practice squad than they will against these Cuban teams. That said, if someone at U of L is trying to promote cultural differences what might those be?..the fact that Cuba has been harboring and protecting multiple murderers of US police officers for decades? I'd appreciate it if someone would clarify the actual vision of this activity and what the benefit to our student-athletes is, other than trying to normalize Cuba's historical animosity towards the US.

    If I paid state income taxes in Kentucky I'd be doing a deeper dive into exactly who and /or what organization felt the taxpayers should fund this exercise. If this was a private university I'd say OK, but not at a taxpayer funded institution. I'd want to know that my 6% income tax bill was going to support appropriate activities.

    I get that politics can be complicated but some decisions should be pretty straightforward at taxpayer funded institutions. I didn't comment on your piece yesterday about the firing of Ramsey because I just don't know enough. That said, if he signed off on this exercise there may be some basis for walking him out the door if that decision is reflective of others that he made during his tenure.

    I'm interested in where ULWBB basketball is a far as their development goes but not the use of State funds to support a political agenda.

  2. some good points there, Burn. One of the benefits is the extra practice time built into the schedule because of the trip. Lacrosse, Volleyball also have had trips abroad over the past couple of years.I'm no expert on these things...especially not on how they pay for these things.

    Readers? your thoughts?


  3. Over my pay grade... stopped following politics in 2008. Wasn't worth the time or the little money invested. Glad I did. No more watching millionaire talking heads on cable news either!!

  4. I suspect that a good portion of this trip was underwritten by fans, corporate donor, etc. Regardless, as a tax payer, I would be proud to pay my part. These sorts of opportunities are part of the reason that we have them playing here. There is more to college than basketball. We have an obligation to help them become well rounded people who know how to reach out to other people, cultures, etc. so that throughout their lives they can not only be poised confident women but represent our school, city, state and nation in a positive manner.

    1. None of us know how this trip is being financed but as I imagine you know due to Title 9 donated funds flowing into athletic departments are fully fungible and of course state funding of athletic activities is to be gender neutral, controlled via Title 9 monitors with the Federal Government. This is due to claims of discrimination when contributors wanted to tie their donations to specific programs, particularly men's teams without making dollar for dollar provisions for women's teams. Many lawsuits were filed, blood was spilled and lawyers have consistently enriched themselves at the expense of taxpayers throughout the country. If you are ever bored take a look at what Sandy Barbour at Cal Berkley did to Men's Rugby and Baseball donors several years ago. Can't make this stuff up.

      In any case there may be some exceptions to these donation requirements based upon named facilities campaigns which UofL has plenty of. Anyone that played college ball probably participated in road trips outside their normal geographic or conference reach under the auspices of cultural exposure which I think is fine within reason.

      I'm doubting that the value added to these kid's futures would be diminished in a material way if a non-communist country had been selected that doesn't have a half century history of running down the US and continues to harbor murderers of US citizens that have been on our FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive lists for years. Sorry, not seeing that as a positive thingy and frankly if you do I've gotta call you out on your judgement. There are plenty of other cultural exposure opportunities out there without giving the appearance of accepting this circumstance. That is unless the objective is something other than what is being stated.

    2. Please don't get personal on Paulie's blog. If you want to have a discussion about my Feel free to email me.

  5. Yeah, let's try to keep it civil. Agreeing to disagree is fine but let's remember we're Cardinal fans and this is a site about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.


  6. Just to give the university's side of this...I have had communication with a very reliable and trustworthy source associated with the women's basketball program.

    All the funds have been raised for the trip and no state tax dollars were used. It was planned by the basketball program and no one from the University is forcing them to go to Cuba. The team is using this trip as an educational experience. The players are going through the same routines as most foreign trips. The 10 days of practice are what is most important to this and any other program that goes on a foreign trip. The players are reading 13 Days, a great book about the Cuban Missile Crisis. They will be quizzed on the book before they leave.

    I hope this clears up any misconceptions about the trip.

    (I appreciate the university source providing me with this statement.)



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