The National Basketball Association (NBA) has signed a groundbreaking multi-year partnership with the Ministry of Education of China to further aid the development of the sport in the country.
The partnership will incorporate a fitness and basketball development curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools across China. It represents the NBA’s first-ever collaboration with China’s education authority and the Ministry of Education’s first partnership with an American professional sports league. It aims to provide enhanced basketball training to at least three million students across China by 2017.
China’s Vice-Minister of Education Hao Ping said: “I am fully convinced that with the joint efforts of the NBA and China’s Ministry of Education, great success will be achieved in the cooperation of basketball education between the two sides, which will surely contribute to the development of China’s basketball education and China-US people-to-people exchange.”
As part of the curriculum, NBA players, legends and coaches will visit Chinese schools to conduct basketball clinics and provide specialised instruction to Chinese coaches and physical education teachers. Chinese coaches and physical education teachers selected by the Ministry of Education will also have the chance to observe and participate in coaching activities organised by the NBA.
The NBA will conduct the partnership through its NBA China division and will support the Ministry of Education in operating China’s elementary, middle and high school basketball leagues.
The partnership with the Ministry of Education builds on the NBA’s basketball and youth development efforts in China. In February, NBA China and retired NBA star Yao Ming launched the first ever after-school basketball program in Beijing, providing basketball training and fitness programs for boys and girls at all skill levels. In September 2011, the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Dongguan Basketball School, an NBA Training Centre, was launched for elite players aged 12-17. Together the CBA Dongguan Basketball School and CBA/NBA joint coaching program have trained more than 2,000 youth and coaches.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “Under the guidance and expertise of China’s Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and the Ministry of Education, we look forward to reaching millions of Chinese students through our joint fitness and basketball development curriculum. This partnership complements our long-standing commitment with the Chinese Basketball Association to grow the game in China.”
The announcement follows the conclusion of the NBA’s 2014-15 Global Games schedule in China. The schedule wrapped up last week with the Brooklyn Nets defeating the Sacramento Kings 97-95 and 129-117 in two games in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively.