Former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant (center) poses during a signing ceremony in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province, Sept 12, 2017. (GUO CHENG / XINHUA)
HAIKOU, China - Five-time NBA champion and 18-time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant on Tuesday showed up at a signing ceremony, at which Mission Hills Group and NBA China announced a longterm partnership to design, develop and operate an NBA Basketball School as well as an NBA interactive experience and store in Haikou, capital city of Hainan Province.
I believe this partnership will lift the game of basketball to a higher level in China
The NBA Basketball School in Mission Hills Haikou will be open to male and female players, from junior level to professionals. Construction of the facility will begin later this year and will be completed in 2019.
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. NBA players and legends will visit the school to provide additional instruction and help foster players development.
Former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant (center) speaks during a signing ceremony in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province, Sept 12, 2017. (GUO CHENG / XINHUA)
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-kilometre 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.
Bryant said that he was excited to be in Haikou to celebrate the great partnership between NBA China and Mission Hills Group. The Chinese youth will benefit from a complete approach to player development that combines NBA-quality coaching with NBA-level training. "I believe this partnership will lift the game of basketball to a higher level in China," he added.