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Forget the Lakers, here come the Triquis




Members of the Triqui kids basketball team, made up of children from the mountainous region of the Mexican state of Oaxaca sit on the Los Angeles Lakers bench before an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Members of the Triqui kids basketball team, made up of children from the mountainous region of the Mexican state of Oaxaca sit on the Los Angeles Lakers bench before an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Chris Carlson/AP
Members of the Triqui kids basketball team, made up of children from the mountainous region of the Mexican state of Oaxaca sit on the Los Angeles Lakers bench before an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Paul Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers is greeted on court by members of the Triqui children's basketball team, from Oaxaca, Mexico, at Staples Center on December 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The children who have been called the 'Barefoot Champions of the Mountain,' welcomed the Lakers before their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images


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Los Angeles lives and breathes basketball. The freeways sports a sea of purple and yellow Lakers flags fluttering from every other car, and the Sparks are arguably the most popular team in the WNBA.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise Oaxacan immigrants in L.A. operate a children's basketball league with dozens of teams. Over the holidays, a team from Southern Mexico called the Triquis came up to play. Caitlin Esch watched courtside and filed this report