Penn State Baseball Set To Travel To Cuba In November
Penn State baseball will be heading out of the country this Thanksgiving break, as the team will be making a historic trip to Havana, Cuba, Head Coach Rob Cooper announced on Thursday.
The team has received preliminary approval for the trip thanks to the Cuban Baseball Commission, and the trip comes in partnership with the Centro de Estudios Martianos (Center for Marti Studies) in Havana. During the historic trip, players will be participating in lectures, tours and site visits in an opportunity to experience Cuban history and culture. The team is also slated to play 3-4 exhibition games.
While some details of the trip have yet to be ironed out, Penn State’s potential opponents will most likely include university teams and Cuban national squads. Like any program fortunate enough to travel outside of the country, Rob Cooper and his players are excited for the international visit.
“This is an incredible educational and life experience that baseball is serving as a vehicle for,” said Cooper. “It’s also another example of the vast educational opportunities Penn State offers to student-athletes. I am very excited that our students are getting the opportunity to experience another culture through baseball.”
Before the team and students leave for Havana, students will attend seminars to prepare for the expected experiences during the trip. Seminars for parents will also be available.
Relations between the United States and Cuba seem to be headed in the right direction after normalizing between the two nations began in 2014. Penn State will be the third collegiate team to visit Cuba this year, joining the likes of the Princeton track and field team, who visited in June, as well as the Coastal Carolina basketball squad, who visited in August. Along with collegiate teams, a group of Vanderbilt student-athletes and staff visited in July.
This trip is a rarity not only because of the location, but due to the timing as well. The NCAA only allows teams to take an international trip once every four years, so this is the only time teams can travel internationally until 2019.
Penn State will be relying on funding assistance from its fans, friends and alumni. So if you wish to support the Nittany Lions, contact Kirk Diehl or Rick Janac at the Nittany Lion Club at 814-865-9462.