NCAA Moving into Chinese Market
The National Basketball Association earns about $50 million per year from China. And that point is not lost on University of Memphis men’s basketball coach, John Calipari, who hopes to one day cash in on the Chinese basketball market.
Motivated by a desire to market his team and to possibly recruit Chinese basketball players to sign with Memphis, Calipari designed his own coaching exchange program with the goal of hiring the first Chinese assistant coach to join an NCAA team.
For the next five years, Calipari will host 15 Chinese basketball coaches, training them in Memphis’ style of play. Each year one coach will stay with the team for the entire season. Former Chinese national team player, Cui Wanjun, is the first Chinese coach to join the team.
According to USA Today:
“It’s like finding out you got accepted by your dream college,” Wanjun said through an interpreter. “But there is a lot of responsibility on me to help my country. I hope to bring back a lot of knowledge.”
The exchange program seems to be bringing good luck to the Tigers, currently the number one ranked team in the NCAA with a 25-0 record.