Kobe Bryant, NBA China Set Up Basketball School At Chinese Resort
Former NBA player Kobe Bryant "joined forces" with NBA China and Chinese resort Mission Hills to set up the country's first NBA Basketball School as well as an "interactive experience and store" in Haikou, Hainan Province, according to the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. The school at the "sprawling resort on China's holiday island" will be open to male and female players from junior level to professionals, a statement released by Mission Hills said. Construction will begin this year to be completed in '19. Bryant said, "The Chinese youth will benefit from a complete approach to player development that combines NBA-quality coaching with NBA-level training." NBA China CEO David Shoemaker "and the Chu brothers who run Mission Hills joined Bryant at the announcement." It is the latest partnership of its type at the resort, which recently announced a partnership with Barcelona for a "similar type of project," and a tennis academy in association with Boris Becker (SCMP, 9/12). XINHUA reported the school will include six indoor courts and other professional facilities. Mission Hills Group will be "responsible for designing and building the school," while NBA China will operate and staff the facility with NBA-trained coaches and provide the basketball development curriculum. Current and former NBA players "will visit the school to provide additional instruction and help foster" player development. The NBA interactive experience and store will be located at Mission Hills Centreville, a 240,000-square-meter shopping and entertainment complex located within the 22-square-kilometer Mission Hills Haikou resort. It will be a multimedia exhibition and retail space "celebrating the league's history and providing fans with a broad assortment of merchandise for men, women and kids," including jerseys, fan apparel, basketballs and accessories (XINHUA, 9/12).