For the first time ever, Euroleague Basketball will be organizing an international coaches clinic in China as part of the 2016 Euroleague Basketball China Tour. Defending Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion CSKA Moscow will travel to play against the defending CBA champion Sichuan Blue Whales on September 28 in Chengdu and the Guangdong Tigers on September 30 in Shenzhen.
In previous years, the Euroleague Basketball China Tour included a EuroLeague team visiting the country to play friendly games, conduct One Team sessions and bring the message of European basketball to the country. This year thanks to the collaboration of Giorgio Gandolfi – Sport Marketing, Events and Communication, a new activity will be added to the program: the International Coaches Clinic.
The three-day clinic will take place in Chengdu, China, starting on September 27 and will be part of the official CBA educational program, making the presence of CBA coaches mandatory. Sichuan Blue Whales will act as hosts, with the clinic featuring three high-level international coaches. The headliners are former FC Barcelona head coach and 2010 Alexander Gomelsky EuroLeague Coach of the Year Xavi Pascual, former Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins, finishing off with former Montepaschi Siena and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan head coach Luca Banchi.
"Euroleague Basketball together with Giorgio Gandolfi is delighted to bring great coaches to China at the same time that our reigning champion, CSKA Moscow, is playing friendly games there," Eduard J. Scott, , Euroleague Basketball Chief Operations Officer, said. "Our ties with the entire Chinese basketball community grow stronger every year. For that reason we are excited about hosting a truly world-class clinic featuring Xavi Pascual, who has won the EuroLeague, as well as Lionel Hollins who has coached over 500 games in the NBA. Being able to count on the CBA's partnership also means that a transfer of knowledge will take place from some of the best coaching minds outside China to some of the best coaching minds in the country."
The clinic will take place at Sichuan's training facilities, where the Blue Whales will also make their youth players available for on-court demonstrations by the coaches. The agenda of the clinic includes Pascual presenting game preparation and pick-and-roll offense, Banchi discussing zone defense and defensive switches, whilst Hollins will share his philosophy for fastbreaks and quick scoring, among other topics.
"It will be a great honor to participate in the clinic visiting such an interesting market as the Chinese," Coach Pascual said.
"I look forward to coming and participating, as well as having a great time!" Coach Hollins added.
"Thank you to Euroleague Basketball for the organization of such a unique event," Coach Banchi stated. "I am really proud to be a part of it. For me and the other clinicians, it will be a chance to meet coaches attending from all over the world and share our basketball ideas."
Euroleague Basketball has partnered with Giorgio Gandolfi – Sport Marketing, Events and Communication for coaching clinics during the previous three Final Fours, featuring greats of the game such as Sergio Scariolo, Mike Brown, Fotis Katsikaris, Terry Porter, Jasmin Repesa and Brian Hill, among others.
"After the successful past clinics at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Fours in Milan, Madrid and Berlin – the last one with coaches attending from 39 different countries – I and my staff are extremely proud to help the 2016 Euroleague Basketball China Tour," owner Giorgio Gandolfi said. "Three top international coaches such as Luca Banchi from Italy, Xavi Pascual from Spain, and Lionel Hollins from the United States will guarantee high-level lessons. We hope that all the participants go back to their clubs with some notes, a play, or a drill that could help them, as well as helping Chinese basketball to make another step forward on their path to the top."