The Chinese Basketball Association is close to a long-term agreement with the Basketball Federation of Serbia (KSS), covering joint work to develop basketball in China.
Chinese media reported that Yao Ming, the chairman of the CBA, met with Predrag Danilov, the president of the KSS, earlier this week, and discussed organising youth training camps in Serbia and having Chinese youth teams train and compete in the country. Other points of cooperation include the training of Chinese basketball coaches and referees, and exchanges between the countries’ 3×3 basketball teams.
The CBA has instituted big changes since the national team’s poor showing at the 2019 Fiba World Cup when, despite having home advantage and strong backing from fans, the team notched just two wins. The agreement with the KSS is one of several moves by the CBA to improve the standard of players coming through the national ranks.
It is reported that both sides have agreed on most points of the partnership and will sign a memorandum of understanding soon.
After the meeting this week, Danilov presented Yao with a Serbian national team jersey bearing his name and number from his professional playing days.
The discussions between the federations took place after the women’s Olympic basketball qualifying tournament for this year’s Tokyo Games on February 6 to 9. The tournament was scheduled for Foshan, China, but was moved to Belgrade due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The CBA and KSS have had close relations in recent years, with the KSS signing up Chinese mineral water brand Ganten Water last year as a shirt sponsor ahead of the Fiba World Cup. The Serbian men’s national team has visited China several times for friendly matches against the Chinese national team and CBA clubs.