NCAA's Hoop Dreamers Open Ties with China

Memphis coach's deal with basketball body has long-term goals
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2007 5:08 PM CDT
Memphis coach John Calipari reacts near the end of their NCAA South Regional final basketball game against Ohio State at the Alamodome in San Antonio Saturday, March 24, 2007. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – University of Memphis coach John Calipari signed a deal this week with the Chinese Basketball Association, part of an effort to bolster NCAA exposure in China and forge an alliance that could make the country a hot spot for future recruiting, the New York Times reports. "We're basically putting together an exchange program," Calipari said from Beijing.

Calipari will host a workshop for Chinese coaches, one of whom will stay with the Tigers this season. He also said he hopes Memphis highlights will land on Chinese TV, where the NBA is extraordinarily popular. Recruiting could run into snags with NCAA regulations, but Calipari is optimistic: "We want to be good-will ambassadors, as opposed to greedy Americans."