For some of you, it may come as a surprise that Tijuana had a basketball team for four years called Los Galgos. I finally got around to attending a Galgos game earlier this year, and had a great time learning more about the team, which like others in the Mexican basketball league has players from both sides of the border.
But it appears that the Galgos (a type of Greyhound) are no more. They are being replaced with a new team, called Los Cosmos, and new owners. I spotted this story in Tijuana’s Frontera newspaper recently about the new team’s logo, which will include an image of the round-shaped CECUT cultural center in Tijuana near a basketball with the stars glittering above. The team will apparently get new colors, too: blue, orange and grey. (By the way, Mexicali also has a basketball team, the Soles or the Suns).
La Cronica newspaper in Mexicali reports that Los Cosmos will represent Tijuana in the country’s National Professional Basketball League starting this 2009-2010 season and their first game will be Sept. 10 against the Jaibos de Tampico. I’m hoping to hear back from Galgos fans to learn more about whether we will be seeing the same players suited up in different colors or if this will be a completely different crew.
Screenshot of logo from Frontera article.
Tijuana Galgos (in green and black uniforms) at this weekend’s game
What to expect at a Tijuana Galgos game: Chile sauce on popcorn, the Mexican national anthem – and the team’s U.S. fans cheering loudly in English.
A Tijuana Galgos game doesn’t seem to be so much about crass commercialism or redundantly flawless moves. This is basketball as I imagine it should be: A bunch of guys of varying height brought together across borders by a shared passion and competitiveness. The team (like others in Mexico’s professional basketball league, which was founded in 2000) has a fair number of African-American and Mexican-American players from the United States.
I was vaguely aware that Tijuana had a basketball team, but it took me a while – Sorry! I’m not typically a sports fan – to finally see them this past Saturday.
It was the last game of the season, against Ciudad Victoria which is another border city south of Texas. The Galgos (translation: a type of greyhound) had been struggling throughout the year – faced with a rotating roster of coaches – and expectations weren’t running particularly high.
Every so often, the Galgos Girls performed a series of modest dance moves. During half-time some local high school basketball players were honored with tropheys. The Galgos mascot, a masked fellow in a cape, at one point grabbed a Galgos flag from a fan and started waving it around.
The Galgos, reminding us of their shining moments from recent years, commanded a winning lead throughout the game and won 94-82, raising hopes for a better outcome in 2009-2010. Afterwards, small children stormed the court to ask the players to sign basketballs, shirts, and arms. And I was left wanting to know more about these players and how they brought us all together that Saturday night.
** Update: The Mexican basketball league has provided opportunities for a number of basketball players who later played with the NBA. Dennis Rodman, Horacio Llamas, Jamario Moon are a few examples, according to this Wikipedia entry***