Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico: Cuban basketball player Tomás ‘El Jabao’ Herrera Martínez, was a star basketball player with the Cuban national team and later as a director of Cuban sports, he passed on last Sunday
According to CubaDebate. The forceful and respected player, Herrera Martínez was 69 years old and was part of the Cuban National team that won a bronze medal in basketball at the 1972 Munich Olympics, among many other achievements of his career. In addition, in 1971 the bronze medal was hung at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia. He obtained two Central American titles, in Santo Domingo 1974 and Havana 1982, and the silver medal in Medellín 1978.
Herrera Martínez’s funeral was held on Monday, and his remains were deposited in the Necropolis of Colón. The causes of his death were not reported.
After his retirement as a canastero, Herrera Martínez, a graduate in political science, began a broad administrative career with the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of Cuba (INDER). He was in charge of the Directorates of International Relations and High Performance, the National Basketball Commission and the National Commission for Attention to Athletes.
“The passion that characterized him on the competition stages was the hallmark in all the tasks from which he became a soldier of the Revolution, wrote on Twitter on Sunday the president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Roberto León Richards, who on Monday attended to the funeral. “Our heartfelt embrace to family and friends.”
The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz Canel, expressed in the same social network that there is “mourning in Cuban sports: Tomás Herrera Martínez passed away. Our condolences to family, friends and the Cuban sports community ”.
Herrera is remembered in Puerto Rico. Through a press release, former leader and former basketball player Armandito Torres Ortiz said that Herrera Martínez left fond memories of his time in Puerto Rico, and said that he was considered as “Captain of Gold” of the Cuban squad, since he assumed the leadership of a basketball that Cuba had imported more from Europe than from the
He added that Herrera Martínez created a great relationship with the Puerto Rican public, especially with the competition in international tournaments against the late Canastero Neftalí Rivera, since with his aggressiveness and psychology he raised the quality of the game.
In the same press release, veteran journalist and commentator Johnny Flores expressed that Herrera’s departure leaves a deep void in Caribbean basketball and highlighted its importance for Cuban basketball. “Herrera was a fundamental piece in the so-called golden age of Cuban basketball along with other greats such as Ruperto Herrera, Pedro Chappé and Miguelito Calderón,” he said.
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