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And-Ones: Youth Academy, Prigioni, Pelicans

The NBA will team with Basketball Australia to create a youth academy in Canberra, according to A.J. Neuhart-Keusch of USA Today. Known as NBA Global Academy, the facility will be an elite training center for young players. Located at the Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport, the academy is designed to be a “global hub” for international prospects. The NBA has three similar facilities in China. “NBA Global Academy will allow top prospects from around the world to train with and compete against their peers in a structured environment under the supervision of NBA-trained coaches and in collaboration with BA’s internationally recognized coaches,” said Brooks Meek, NBA vice president of international basketball operations.

There’s more basketball news tonight:
  • Barcelona has confirmed its interest in 39-year-old point guard Pablo Prigioni, relays Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Head coach Georgios Bartzokas said the team has its eye on Prigioni, who was waived by the Rockets last month, but cautioned that it’s far from a done deal. “Every guard in the market with European passport interests us,” Bartzokas said. “Prigioni, with his great career and potential is one of them. But the most important thing is to bring a player that fits into our system. It’s not just about the potential, quality or level of the player. It’s about whether he fits with us and whether he’s able to play well with our players.”
  • The Pelicans top a list of teams that should be very worried by their slow starts, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. New Orleans has an 0-8 record and is hampered by injuries to Tyreke Evans, Quincy Pondexter and Lance Stephenson, who was waived over the weekend. The Pelicans are also without starting point guard Jrue Holiday, who remains on a leave of absence to care for his ailing wife. Bontemps says there are whispers that coach Alvin Gentry may be fired if the team doesn’t start winning soon. The other teams on Bontemps’ list are the Wizards, Knicks, Mavericks and Timberwolves.
  • Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is the latest player to incorporate strobe lights into his training, according to Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com. The flashing lights, which simulate photographers’ flashes, were first incorporated by Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

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