NBA, Chinese Ministry of Education announce partnership to grow basketball in China

BEIJING – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Ministry of Education of China today announced a comprehensive multiyear partnership between NBA China and the Ministry of Education to incorporate a fitness and basketball development curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools across China.  This unprecedented partnership is 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.

China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping and Minister of Sport Liu Peng, along with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA China CEO David Shoemaker announced the partnership during a signing ceremony at the MasterCard Center in Beijing.

The groundbreaking partnership will focus on basketball participation in elementary, middle and high schools across China and aims to provide enhanced basketball training to at least 3 million students by 2017.

“The Chinese government attaches great importance to sports education.  We highly appreciate the NBA’s efforts to promote basketball and improve the basketball education in Chinese schools,” said Hao Ping.  “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-U.S. people-to-people exchange.”

“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,” said Silver.  “This partnership complements our long-standing commitment with the Chinese Basketball Association to grow the game in China.”

As part of the curriculum, NBA players, legends and coaches will visit Chinese schools to conduct basketball clinics and provide specialized 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 organized by the NBA.

The NBA will conduct the partnership through NBA China 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 2014, NBA China and 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, while also teaching the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication in a fun basketball environment.  In September 2011, the CBA Dongguan Basketball School, an NBA Training Center, was launched for elite players ages 12-17.  Together the CBA Dongguan Basketball School and CBA/NBA joint coaching program have trained more than 2,000 youth and coaches.

The NBA’s entity that conducts all of the league’s businesses in greater China was formed in January 2008 after its first office opened in Hong Kong in 1992.  The NBA has interacted with Chinese basketball for decades, including first hosting the Chinese National Team in 1985.  The NBA currently has relationships with a strong network of television and digital media outlets in China, including a partnership of more than 25 years with national broadcaster CCTV.  The league hosts hundreds of touring basketball events for fans, conducts community enrichment programs, and maintains marketing partnerships with a combination of world-class Chinese-based corporations and U.S.-based multinationals.

Headquartered in Beijing, NBA China currently employs more than 115 people in four offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei.  NBA products, such as apparel and footwear, are available through various retail networks and on  In 2004, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to play games in China, with two contests taking place between the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings in Shanghai and Beijing.  Following NBA Global Games 2014, the league has played 18 games in China since 2004.