Shoeless Indian Boys From Mexico Win Tournament

By: Emily Greene - October 16, 2013

I guess you don’t need a sweet pair of Air Jordan’s to win a basketball tournament.

A team of Trique Indian boys, most of which were barefoot, cleaned house at a recent basketball tournament in Mexico.

The team is from Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico, and became the 2013 champions of the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held in Argentina.

Not only did the boys overcome their opponents without shoes, but they were also lacking in the height department. But unlike Skee-Lo, these boys didn’t need to wish they were a little bit taller to become ballers.

According to Ernesto Merino, one of the coaches and a Trique Indian, because of their shortcomings, many of the other teams in the tournament referred to the Trique Indian boys as ”the barefoot mice from Mexico.” Merino added that to make up for their short stature the boys had ”strength, speed and resistance.”

Even though the boys are given shoes once they join a basketball team, many of them choose not to wear them because they are used to doing everything barefoot. Merino said that many of them grow up in large, poor families that can’t afford clothes or shoes. He added, ”For them it’s normal to not have shoes, to walk barefoot.”

The pride created by the team didn’t stop once the tournament was over. During Wednesday’s meeting of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, everyone spent a minute applauding the boys on the floor for their win.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto even took to his Twitter to announce how proud he was of the team and their accomplishments.

Which when translated says, ”The victories of the Trique Indian team from Oaxaca’s Academy of Indigenous Basketball make Mexicans proud.”

The boys from the team are part of a program designed to help the poor of Oaxaca. To join the team, the children must help with chores at home, have good grades, and speak their native tongue. Once in the program, the Oaxaca state government gives the boys uniforms, a monthly $46 stipend, and shoes. Said Merino about the program, ”We see a basketball as an opportunity to grow in life. We want them to be prepared in life.”

Image via YouTube.

About the Author

Emily GreeneEmily Greene is a journalist and budding fashionista. She is a die hard fan of UK and the Greenbay Packers. She is a self-professed Anglophile and loves a good musical in any platform. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+

View all posts by Emily Greene
  • Nina

    I’m so proud of these young men and yet I don’t even know them! The United States is a wonderful country full of opportunity but we are spoiled here. Half of this country couldn’t survive like people do in poor countries. When I hear teens whining for something expensive like its a piece of candy and not wanting to work for it, I want to kick them right in the pants and tell them to get a job!

    • http://yahoo melinda

      You tell it like it is Nina :)

  • David Greene

    Please note the tournament was held in ARGENTINA, not Mexico…

  • Wow

    Good for these kids!!

    The majority of the world believes in God. God really isn’t dumb and he gave us everything we need to survive and make the world better for all people. There is simply no reason why anyone on this planet should be poor. We just choose to divide ourselves and spend our lives on the worthless pursuit of becoming wealthy. We all die and nothing we possess will matter. All that matters is how we treat other people.

    As a species — as human beings — we need to be much more compassionate to the poor and we must make efforts to eradicate poverty. It can be done. We just have to have the courage to not be so self-centered.

    God gave us everything we need and we have a responsibility to help our neighbors everywhere.

    • vida hermosa

      Yes. We would do well to keep these words (published 1624)by poet John Donne in our hearts:

      No Man Is An Island

      No man is an island,
      Entire of itself,
      Every man is a piece of the continent,
      A part of the main.
      If a clod be washed away by the sea,
      Europe is the less.
      As well as if a promontory were.
      As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
      Or of thine own were:
      Any man’s death diminishes me,
      Because I am involved in mankind,
      And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
      It tolls for thee.

  • http://webnewspro don best

    bring them here we will feed them give them obamacare and then bring there family and there friends and we will give them homes cars bank accounts EMILY GREENE now find us some more shoeless hand outs

    • Joe

      Basement dwelling retards like you should be deported.

      • http://yahoo melinda

        Grow up…you are disgusting.

    • Martin

      This article was about a group of kids triumphing despite the odds. It has nothing to do with the United States, Obamacare, or immigration policy. Just goes to show you how some bigots can rationalize nonsensical ideologies.

  • mike

    The kids they played against must have been morons I would have stepped on their feet.