The basketball team of the Madero University (UMAD) in Puebla, Mexico, has been crowned champion of the national basketball student league in Mexico, after defeating the Borregos Salvajes team from ITESM, Toluca, with a score of 54-48. The Tigres Blancos team [White Tigers], as the Universidad Madero team is known, became the best collegiate team in Mexico in 2023 and was proclaimed national champion of Division 1 of the ABE League.
\The team led by Juan Manuel Solano is made up of Óscar Romero, Pablo Andrade, Richard Sánchez, David Cervantes, Aldo Terrazas, Josué Ocampo, Juan José Lozano, Octavio Rojas, Luis Mendoza, Juan Morales, Víctor Rodríguez and Kevin Núñez. It was the best team during the Big Eight championship in Mexico and, in the end, with the victory against Borregos Salvajes ITESM Toluca, it was confirmed as the number one student basketball team in the country.
This victory also crowns the sports initiatives at UMAD, which began with an intensive program in this area starting in 1998, when the American football program at UMAD was authorized by Mr. Job César Romero Reyes, Mr. Donaciano Alvarado Hernández and coach Ernesto Álvarez Cuspinera. Since then, UMAD has achieved several important victories in various sports, often obtaining third place at the national level. The UMAD basketball team, now under the leadership of coach Juan Manuel Solano, achieved two great victories in the last two consecutive seasons, as they won the national titles of Division 2 and Division 1. This result is historic in the League EBA from Mexico.
Juan Manuel Solano, coach of the UMAD’s White Tigers, commented on the title: “we came willing to keep the championship and it was achieved because I have a group of young people with an attitude that is proof of everything we talk about and I feel very proud to be their coach. I thank the staff, our coordinator, the university President, and all the authorities and members of the Madero community who have always supported us”.
For his part, Job César Romero Reyes, President of the Madero Educational System – which incudes schools, colleges, a seminary, and the university –, commented on the national championship of the UMAD White Tigers: “It is a great satisfaction and an enormous pride because all the players did their best effort and, above all, a recognition to our coach because he owes his vision, discipline and perseverance. This championship is the harvest of what we have been sowing for a long time and is the result of the work of many people such as players and the Madero community who are always here supporting their team.”
A long tradition of winning basketball teams at Methodist institutions
Basketball is a traditional sport at many Methodist-related educational institutions. One of the most successful and internationally know male basketball teams is the Blue Devils at Duke University. It was formed in 1905, has played in 11 final games of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, and won 5 Division 1 championships in make basketball. The legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski led the team for more than 40 years (1980-2022) and helped establish this wining reputation. Similarly, schools, colleges, and universities in Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America have a strong tradition in basketball. The women’s basketball team of the Methodist University of Piracicaba (UNIMEP) in Brazil. Between 1985 and 1996, UNIMEP’s female basketball team won the national championship 3 times. The team’s leading scorer, “Magic” Paula, is one of the world’s most celebrated female basketball players: she also played for the Brazilian national team and won a World Championship, the Pan American Games, and a Silver medal at the Olympic Games. She has been a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame since 2006 and the International Basketball Federation Hall of Fame since 2013.
The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Prebyterian minister and sports chaplain who created a new sport modality in order to keep his gym class active on rainy days at the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA). Today, basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide.