San Antonio Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard is heading to China from Aug. 18-24 in an effort to grow and support the game of basketball overseas. Not only will this be Leonard’s first trip to China, but he’ll be the first NBA player to visit The NBA Academy Zhejiang in Zhuji.
For those unfamiliar with the NBA’s overseas academy system, the NBA has set up several like the one Leonard will visit in Zhuji with the goal of building on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives. The NBA Academy Zhejang that Kawhi Leonard will be visiting houses eighty male and eighty female student-athletes aged 14-18.
In addition to spending time at The NBA Academy Zhejang, Kawhi Leonard will host a basketball clinic for students in celebration of the NBA’s 30-year long partnership with CCTV and meet with fans at NBA 5v5, a tournament for elite players in China. Leonard will also work with the NBA’s Player Development department and participate in the Career Crossover program, spending time in the NBA Beijing Office to shadow NBA China CEO David Shoemaker, attending meetings with NBA China executives and conducting a chalk talk with NBA staff.
Leonard is the latest star to go on an NBA sponsored trip overseas, as the league has made a significant push in recent years to build their brand and influence into markets like China, India, England, and more. Of particular interest to NBA fans stateside is the revelation that Kawhi Leonard will be spending some time working with the NBA league offices in China.