NBA, Basketball Australia launch NBA Global Academy

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA and Basketball Australia (BA) have on Thursday announced the launch of the NBA Global Academy, an elite training centre at BA's Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

The centre will serve as a hub for top international prospects from around the world to train with NBA-level coaches, in elite sports facilities and play in elite competitions.

This will be the NBA's fourth elite training centre with the organisation launching NBA Academies in Hangzhou, Jinan and Urumqi, China, with prospects from around the world expected to start enrolling in coming weeks.

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

"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."

Previously operated by the AIS, the Centre of Excellence has produced top-level players Lauren Jackson, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Penny Taylor and Dante Exum.

NBA Academies will include educational development for top international male and female prospects and mark the NBA's most significant investment in elite player development.

"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 recognized coaches," said NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations Brooks Meek.

"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 Academies will focus on more than just on field success with BA announcing they would focus on a holistic approach to player development with the Academies focusing on education, leadership, character development and life skills, building off the initiatives of the NBA's already existing grassroots programs including Jr. NBA and NBA 3X, which engaged with more than 12 million youth during the 2015-16 season.

Each centre will house under-16 and under-18 teams that will compete against top competition throughout the year, while top students will be given opportunities to be selected for international touring teams for tournaments and exhibition matches.

Housed in Australia's world-renowned AIS, the training centre will be central to world-class, elite high performance facilities and leading sports practitioners in the fields of sports science, sports medicine and coaching.

The NBA also reportedly has plans to expand its Global Academy operations into Africa and India.