• Today
    June 22

  • 03:37 AM

Windies meet Heat

BEA DOTTIN, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 27 October 2013

102713nbagayle

The region's best cricketers went beyond the boundary to see the king. Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and the rest of West Indies’ touring side traded in their whites for basketball fan gear for one day after getting the chance to meet members of the NBA champions Miami Heat, including four-time MVP LeBron James. The opportunity was just one phase of the West Indies’ Elite Team Tour across the state of Florida and comes as part of the regional side’s latest initiative to build synergies with major sporting bodies in this hemisphere. Former Heat centre and one-time Defensive Player Of the Year, Alonzo Mourning – who currently serves as Miami’s vice-president of player programmes and development – took the team on a tour of the American Airlines Arena where the Windies got a chance to see the Heat’s three championship trophies. Kemar Roach and Gayle then posted pictures posing next to one of the Heat’s Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophies on their Instagram accounts yesterday along with photos of James and All-Star forward Chris Bosh practising. Gayle even joked that he gave both star players tips “how to get better with the ball” on one of those pictures. But the real festivities came later that day when the Windies sat courtside during the Heat’s preseason game against the new-look Brooklyn Nets where the team received a grand welcome on the big jumbotron. It was their last night in Florida before they left yesterday for India, where the regional side is slated to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two T20s. The Windies’ tour started in Orlando before the team had two separate net sessions at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill and the Poinciana Cricket Club in Kissimmee. They also met with several members of the diaspora prior to visiting Sea World and the University of Miami Hurricanes’ football stadium in Coral Gables. (JM)

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