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NBA Eyes Japan to Expand the Game, Seeds New Academy

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By Christian Webster - - 5 Mins Read
Young teens playing basketball in academy court
Photo | makieni/Shutterstock

The NBA is making strides in Japan with the launch of a specialized basketball school.

Taking a cue from soccer clubs, they've established the NBA Basketball School Japan.

This program is open to kids aged 5 to 18 and offers a weekly hour-long session at Shibuya Junior and Senior High School. The monthly fee, including taxes, is approximately 8,800 yen.

Throughout April, 40 children experienced their first introduction to basketball at the NBA Basketball School Japan.

They were taught essential skills for playing on the court, such as dribbling. The program provides a fun and beneficial way for young athletes to enhance their abilities and passion for the sport.

With the reasonable fees of the NBA academy, more children in Japan can now engage in basketball.

This allows them to receive training from top experts and develop their skills on the court. It's entirely possible that the next basketball superstar could emerge from the NBA Basketball School Japan!

At the NBA Basketball School in Japan, offers specialized classes developed by NBA coaches and experts to enhance the skills of individual players.

Their focus is not on teams, but on elevating each player's abilities and comprehension of the game.


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Before coming to Japan, the NBA set up similar schools in 17 countries including Australia, Brazil, and China. They're bringing the same idea to Japan to help basketball grow even more.

Japanese teenagers play basketball in an open court on a sunny day

Japanese teens playing basketball | Shutterstock

Sheila Rasu, a top NBA official in Asia, says basketball is becoming popular in Japan.

The sport is getting even more attention, with both men's and women's teams heading to the Paris Olympics.

The NBA considers Japan significant due to preseason games' prior hosting.

By launching the NBA Basketball School Japan, they aim to expand their fan base by familiarizing more Japanese individuals with NBA teams and players.

Erutluc, a company teaching basketball in Tokyo, is teaming up with the NBA Basketball School Japan to train players.

Yoshikazu Suzuki, the company's director and a women's national team coach, believes this collaboration can help kids all over Japan improve with NBA support.

Like the NBA, big soccer clubs like Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain run schools for young players in Japan.

Spain's Barcelona even had its Barca Academy in Fukuoka since 2009, where over 1,500 kids aged 5 to 15 are training.

These partnerships show how sports like basketball and soccer are growing in Japan.

In 2017, Borussia Dortmund started the Dortmund Soccer Academy because Shinji Kagawa joined them in 2010. Now, 900 players are part of the academy in 46 places around Japan.

Japan has a strong passion for soccer, making it an attractive market for European and Latin American teams.

Unlike some other Asian countries, Japan appreciates various soccer styles. There has been an increase in the number of children participating in sports with local teams, creating business opportunities for international soccer clubs.

While young players in foreign soccer schools receive new coaching methods, they still require long-term support to progress.

According to sports professor Hideo Suzuki, there is a need for mentors who can facilitate their overall development.