Encore! NBA crowd roars for 11-year-old mariachi

Encore! NBA crowd roars for 11-year-old mariachi

Posted: Updated:

By PAUL J. WEBER

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- An 11-year-old Latino boy whose singing of the national anthem at the NBA Finals set off a barrage of racist tweets earned a roaring ovation in an encore performance before Game 4 between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Sebastien De La Cruz, a mariachi singer who first found fame as a contestant on "America's Got Talent," was congratulated by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra at midcourt after he belted out "The Star-Spangled Banner" while boisterous fans cheered him on at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs arranged the second act as a show of support following a run of disparaging tweets about Latinos and immigrants during De La Cruz's nationally televised performance before Game 3 on Tuesday.

De La Cruz, who was born and raised in San Antonio, said he was grateful and excited for being invited back.

"It makes me feel real good about myself," De La Cruz said. "It makes me feel like, in San Antonio, I know there are a lot of people that encourage me to keep on doing what I want to do."

Before the game, Popovich bemoaned the "idiots" who posted bigoted comments.

"He's a class act," Popovich said. "Way more mature than most his age. And as much as those comments by the idiots saddens you about your country, he makes you feel the future could be very bright."

Other celebrities and politicians also rallied behind De La Cruz. They included San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and actress Eva Longoria, formerly married to Spurs star Tony Parker.

Castro, the keynote speaker at last year's Democratic National Convention, introduced the boy Thursday night and gave him an official proclamation from the city.

"The message is that no matter what someone's background is, we have so many Americans who have true talent," Castro said. "And Sebastien is one of them."

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:31:51 GMT
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
  • Emma Stone to enter 'Cabaret' on Broadway

    Emma Stone to enter 'Cabaret' on Broadway

    Emma Stone is about to get saucy - she'll be slipping into the slinky Broadway revival of "Cabaret."
    Emma Stone is about to get saucy - she'll be slipping into the slinky Broadway revival of "Cabaret."
  • Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:42:31 GMT
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices