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Dave Martin Papers

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Collection Summary


UA 53.27


Dave Martin Papers


Martin, Dave




1.42 linear feet (1 document box and 1 oversized item)




South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

The collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item. Dave Martin Papers. UA 53.27. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Five members of the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Men’s Basketball Team participated in a trip to Cuba in 1977 as part of a South Dakota delegation led by Senators George McGovern and James Abourezk. This collection comprises material related to the 1977 trip to Cuba, including photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, and programs. Also part of the collection are letters and other documents that detail the effort that went into making such an endeavor happen. David Martin, former Sports Information Director at South Dakota State University, created and compiled these material.

Biographical Note

David Martin, the SDSU Sports Information Director, sought to bring SDSU men’s basketball players to Cuba and play the Cuban National Basketball Team. He worked with Senator George McGovern and Senator James Abourezk to bring members from both SDSU and the University of South Dakota’s men’s basketball teams to Cuba. Due to the severed diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba at this time, Senator McGovern saw this as an opportunity to rebuild relations between the countries. After two years of tremendous effort, Martin’s vision became a reality. Five basketball players from SDSU and five players from the University of South Dakota were selected to serve as ambassadors for South Dakota and the United States. Including the basketball players and their coaches, a total of 100 Americans made the trek to Cuba in April 4, 1977. Other visitors consisted Senators McGovern and Abourezk, dignitaries, officials from the universities, spouses, and the press, including Tom P. Nelson, the trip photographer.

While in Cuba, the Americans toured the country and met with Cuban dignitaries. As the American basketball players charged on the court, they were given a standing ovation. Cuban Prime Minister, Fidel Castro, along with 15,000 attendees watched the games. Fans cheered for both teams. The American basketball players lost every game against their Cuban counterparts. The Americans returned to the United States on April 8, 1977.

Contents Note

The collection contains documents relating to the arrangements made for the Cuba trip and the political implications that surrounded the trip. Correspondence between David Martin and Senator George McGovern detail the breadth of such an undertaking. In addition, a post trip overview, numerous newspaper clippings, photographs, and radio excerpts are included in the collection.

Related Material

For more information about the SDSU men's basketball Team in Cuba visit the Digital Library of South Dakota:

View Collection on Digital Library of South Dakota

Key Words

David Martin

McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-2012

Abourezk, James


South Dakota State University

University of South Dakota


Container List

View container list on Open Prairie

Dave Martin Papers Container List. UA 53.27

18Cuba Trip Slides 0001-01191977
12Cuban Basketball Trip Proposal and Post Trip Overview1975-1977
16Game Programs/Information1977
11Games, Newspaper Clippings1977
13Newspaper Article1977
14Past Trip Newspaper Articles1977
17Pictures of Cuba Trip1977
15Press Reservations and List1977

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Arranged and Described by

Lori Jacobson, 2016 December 6