During his time in China this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver officially confirmed the launch of NBA Academies, a development initiative first reported in September. As Fran Blinebury of NBA.com writes, the project will involve “elite training centers” around the world to develop top male and female basketball prospects.
The Chinese cities of Urumqi, Jinan, and Hangzhou will be the homes for the first three of the international NBA academies, per Blinebury. NBA-trained coaches will work at each training center to help develop international prospects on and off the court, and each center will feature under-16 and under-18 teams that will play against top competition.
“[We] want these players to have the opportunity to play against other elite players,” Silver said. “What we know from our NBA experience that in order to develop the best players, in addition to the wonderful training they’re getting already here in China, they need to play against top-notch competition. That’s what we’re going to do as an important measure to see more great Chinese players coming into the NBA.”
For more details on the NBA Academies initiative, be sure to check out our story from September on the program.