The Time is Yao: An Assessment of Chinese Basketball Reforms

nba in china

 

Last month, this blog gave an overview of the NBA’s Chinese youth basketball strategy – with a focus on their academies in Zhejiang, Xinjiang, and Jilin.

In particular, we noted the challenges faced by these academies in recruiting young Chinese basketball talent against provincial sports authorities and CBA feeder networks.

 

This month, we will take a closer look at the recent reforms to China’s National team and assess the progress made since the election of Yao Ming as president of the Chinese Basketball Association on February 23, 2017.

 

Yao’s election was monumental for two reasons. First, the whole organization was “regrouped as a fully-fledged non-governmental organization,” and second he was granted wide authority to reform the existing Chinese basketball national team system.

 

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NEWS: PSB China Basketball & Cultural Tour 2018

PSB China Basketball & Cultural Tour 2018

We are excited to announce the 2018 Pro Skills Basketball China Basketball and Cultural Tour!

On August 6th a group of Pro Skills Basketball (PSB) players, both past and present, accompanied by family members and PSB coaches will embark on a three-city tour of China.

Over the course of eleven days, these young men will gain a better understanding of China’s traditions and cultural practices as they tour Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing while also having some great basketball experiences along the way.

In each city, the basketball activities include friendlies against a famous streetball team in Shanghai, a professional CBA team in Chengdu, and China’s top-rated university in Beijing.

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KARL BARKLEY’S CHINA BASKETBALL ADVENTURES: June 2018

hike at Longquan mountain outside of ChengduThe month of June started with a hike at Longquan mountain, just outside of Chengdu.

The mountain, which ended up being more of a glorified hill, was peaceful and provided excellent vantages of the Sichuan countryside.

It was a nice first hike to get my feet wet, but there are a number of more rigorous treks further out in the province that I have planned for future months.

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KARL BARKLEY’S PSB CHINA BASKETBALL ADVENTURES: May 2018

Karl Barkley's Pro Skills Basketball China AdventuresThis month I welcomed a new roommate to Chengdu (Nathan) and said goodbye to two others (Zeb and Tyler). Before the latter could return home to Queen and country, Nathan and I made sure to give them a proper English send off.

First, we joined in on Chengdu’s British Day celebrations. The festivities coincided with the Royal Wedding and included great food, a few games of Tug-of-War, and a friendly water balloon fight.

Later that week we all went to the China v. England U19 soccer game. Although England ended up losing the game on a late breakaway goal, the matchup felt like a poetic ending to Tyler and Zeb’s time in China.

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NBA ACADEMIES & THE GROWTH OF CHINESE BASKETBALL

nba academies in chinaChinese basketball fans have long been a target audience for the NBA.

In the late eighties, the league sent VHS highlight tapes to Chinese state media (CCTV) to broadcast to free of charge.

Now fans can stream the Finals on almost any device, without a single yuan (元) leaving their pocket.

This accessibility to content is a hallmark of the league’s strategy in China and has fueled Chinese basketball fans’ love for the game. But, the NBA understands that it has to do more than let people watch – it has to teach them how to play.

The league took a large step towards this goal in 2014 when it launched a comprehensive program in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

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