For the first time in fifty years, the flag of the United States of America is once again flying at the Embassy in Cuba.
Last week, the flag was raised in a special ceremony in Havana by the same three Marines that lowered it in 1961 who vowed to be the ones to raise it again if that were to ever happen.
According to College Basketball Talk, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers’ basketball team were in attendance for the special moment.
Head coach Cliff Ellis knew that he wanted to take his team to Cuba as soon as President Obama announced the decision to end the isolation with the country. He and his team became the first college basketball team to play in the country last week.
The team got a chance to view history on their final day of the tour last Friday, first content to watch outside the gates before being invited inside.
Ellis said tears welling up in his eyes “became a trickle down my face,” with three Marines who lowered the American flag in 1961 on hand to watch it rise up again last week.
“This was a life changer,” Ellis said Tuesday. “I told the team, this is bigger than anything you’ll do in basketball.”
It’s pretty safe to say that none of the players on the Chanticleers’ roster will have the opportunity to represent the country in the Olympics, but being in attendance for a historical moment like this is just about the best way to represent your home country.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports