Silver, Yao and Baumann stress importance of national team game to basketball's global growth as Summit draws to a close
XI'AN (FIBA World Basketball Summit) - Thursday saw the second and final day of the inaugural FIBA World Basketball Summit in the Chinese city of Xi'an, with the attention shifting to the importance of the national team game to grow the sport globally.
Here are some of the highlights:
The day began with Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, and Yao Ming, Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) President, talking at length about the future opportunities of basketball.
Mr Baumann explained that when national teams play, the engagement is not limited purely to the existing basketball fans. Instead, it is a great opportunity of bringing new supporters to the sport.
Mr Silver expressed his belief that basketball is the fastest growing sport in the world and that a game of a country's national team creates a singular moment of unity like no other. Furthermore, he asserted that there will be no greater stage for national team players than the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. When asked his thoughts on potential future competition for the NBA coming from the CBA and/or other leagues, he indicated that he welcomed the competition and was in favor of more stakeholders growing and thriving - so long as it benefits the movement that is basketball's global growth.
Mr Ming stressed how in China - more than anywhere else - it is the mission of every athlete to bring glory to the national team jersey and to proudly represent the country, something he himself has done for years.
Adam Silver, Yao Ming and Patrick Baumann pose with the FIBA Basketball World Cup trophy
Caitlyn Chen, Vice-President of FIBA Partner Tencent, explained how connecting more partners is the key to success in the world of media.
A Media Panel with Alex Rice (Executive Vice President of Perform Ventures) and Yi Sheng (Deputy General Manager of the Beijing Star Times) discussed the new ways in which the consumption of sport and entertainment can be achieved.
Stephon Marbury, former NBA player, two-time NBA All-Star and Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist, gave an in-depth and very personal look into his life both on and off the court spanning his time in his native USA and his adopted home of China.
Philippe Blatter, President and CEO of Infront and President and Vice-Chairman of FIBA Partner Wanda Sports Group, explained that while reaching out is important, it is more impactful to ensure and achieve actual and tangible engagement.
A Society Panel with Caroline Baxter Tresise (Sport Policy Specialist with UNESCO), Karen Doubilet (Managing Director of PeacePlayers International) and Florian Wanninger (Director of FIBA's Foundation, the International Basketball Foundation) outlined how the language of basketball is spoken by many and that it is imperative to use the sport in order to change lives for the better.
Rae Lin D'Alie, FIBA 3x3 World Champion 2018 with Italy, explained how 3x3 has overcome being perceived as a strange animal to be embraced as the new sibling in the family.
A Future Panel with Vlad Constantinescu (CEO of Sport Arena), Myagmarjav Luvsandash (Mongolia 3x3 Promoter) and George Raveling (Former Global Basketball Sports Marketing Director at Nike and Member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame) discussed the impact of FIBA's 3x3 discipline and its future development potential.