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Viva Shaq! Obama names hoops legend as Cuba envoy

US President Barack Obama named former basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, pictured on April 3, 2016, sports envoy to Cuba after the US and Cuba restored ties this yearBasketball fanatic Barack Obama named legendary center Shaquille O’Neal as sports envoy to Cuba on Friday, in a new sign of thawing ties between Washington and Havana. When the imposing seven-foot one-inch player was dominating courts for the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat in Florida he was just a short hop from the island state. The United States and Cuba finally restored ties last year and officials from both countries are gingerly negotiating a new relationship, even as parts of the embargo fall away.

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