NBA partners with Basketball Australia to launch Global Academy in Canberra

The relationship between the NBA and Australia continues to flourish, with the NBA and Basketball Australia today announcing their plan to launch an NBA Global Academy at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

The academies, which are also referred to as the NBA’s elite training centres, will mark the association’s most significant investment in elite player development. The top male and female prospects will be exposed to NBA-level coaching, facilities and competition, and will be working under a global framework to maximise their success.

The skills the prospects learn will go beyond the court, as the NBA Academies will include a 360-degree approach to player development, which focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills.

“Basketball Australia is thrilled to partner with the NBA on the development of promising young talent from around the world,” Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Moore said.

“Our Centre of Excellence has a wonderful track record of producing athletes who can compete on the world stage, and we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with the NBA.”

Male prospects aged between 14 and 18 will get the first crack at the academies services, with the NBA planning to introduce the program to female prospects in the future, via Roy Ward of Fairfax Media.

While prospects from around the world will begin enrolling in the academy in the coming weeks, it is believed 12 teenagers will have the first scholarships. Out of the 12, it is understood five of them will be from Australia and seven will be from overseas, most likely from India or African countries, via Ward.

The NBA says that the academy will be home to under-16 and under-18 teams that will compete against top competition throughout the year. Ward reports that the academy plans to work with, and against, Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence team. The standout players on these teams have the chance to be selected for travel teams that’ll play in international tournaments and exhibition games.

The Centre of Excellence has been a breeding ground for Australian basketballers, with current and former superstars Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Penny Taylor, Lauren Jackson and more all hailing from the program. Additionally, current collegiate athletes including Jack White, Tom Wilson, Dejan Vasiljevic and more have also used the Centre of Excellence to boost the start of their careers.

The Australian base will be the NBA’s fourth elite training centre, joining the recently launched Chinese academies in Hangzhou, Jinan and Urumqi.

“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 recognised coaches,” NBA Vice President of International Basketball Operations, Brooks Meek said.

“On behalf of the NBA, we look forward to working with Basketball Australia on this initiative and helping elite prospects reach their full potential.”

The NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Asia camp was held in Australia for the first time in June 2016, with the support of Basketball Australia, FIBA and the NBL.