The Basketball Warriors Are Back

Can Puerto Rico upset the United States again in Olympic basketball?

Happy Monday to our 525 subscribers (and anyone reading this online for the first time. You can subscribe here for free.)

Last Friday, The Latino Newsletter shared the exciting announcement that the Latino Community Foundation became our first funder partner. We will hit the ground running with our Phase 1 election coverage plan next Monday, July 15. (Pitch me your election story or opinion ideas.)

This week, I am taking a much-needed summer break with family.

However, I am committed to publishing one post a day, although it will be of a different variety since the beach looks so inviting. I am already missing out on the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) 40th annual conference and expo.

The Latino Newsletter will stay active this week: we have received a new opinion piece that should be out on Wednesday. You will also be the first to know about the plan for Phase 1, as I plan to share some additional posts about the outlet’s foundational plan.

As for today?

I am going to celebrate this:

Yes, in front of a San Juan home crowd, the Puerto Rico men’s basketball team is heading back to the Olympics. The Paris 2024 tournament will start on July 27, and Puerto Rico will be in the same group as Serbia (hi, Nikola Jokic), South Sudan AND (wait for it) the United States.

The U.S. game is scheduled for August 3. That matchup instantly conjures up the historic upset that happened on August 15, 2004, when Puerto Rico shocked the world and defeated a U.S. Dream Team edition by 19 points at the Athens Games.

In 2021, I was one of the lucky ones to report for Season 1 of the award-winning La Brega podcast from WNYC and Futuro Studios. The episode, both in English and Spanish, was all about that 2004 team. A big thank you to Alana Casanova-Burgess, Marlon Bishop, Ezequiel Rodríguez Andino and the entire La Brega team for making these two versions shine. Of all the work I have done, this story is still one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Julio Ricardo Varela is the founder of The Latino Newsletter.

Join the conversation

or to participate.