|Spurs player with Suriname ties inspires frenzy for NBA finals|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 14 June 2007 06:34|
Fans crowd restaurants to cheer San Antonio Spurs backup center Francisco Elson, who was born in Netherlands and whose parents live part time in the former Dutch colony.
With sports bars practically unheard of in this tiny South American nation, people have gathered around televisions wherever possible to see the 7-foot Elson, who has other relatives in Suriname and occasionally takes vacations here.
``It's special to watch someone of Suriname origin participating and playing for the title,'' 43-year-old carpenter Eric Menzo said.
Soccer-mad Surinamese have not paid much attention to NBA teams without superstars like Michael Jordan, but Elson inspired a following for the Spurs in the country of 470,000 people when he joined two years ago. Local sportscasters have referred to them as the Dutch-Surinamese team.
``I wasn't a Spurs fan either, but now I can't wait for them to win the title,'' said Elson's uncle, Wim Williams, who wore a cap of the Denver Nuggets, his nephew's former team.
Elson's parents are watching the games in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers entered Game 4 on Thursday trailing 3-0. Elson is expected to join them in Suriname for a brief vacation once the series ends, Williams said.