Skip to main content

About The NBA Academy Xinjiang

The NBA and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Basketball Management Center has partnered to launch The NBA Academy Xinjiang, an elite basketball training center in Urumqi in the Xinjiang Province of China. The training center houses about 120 male and 120 female student-athletes aged 14-18.

The NBA’s partnership with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Basketball Management Center builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in China. In November 2015, NBA China, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports announced the launch of the first Jr. NBA Basketball League in China. In October 2014, the NBA and the Ministry of Education of China announced a comprehensive multiyear partnership to incorporate a fitness and basketball development curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools across China. In February 2014, NBA China and Yao Ming launched the first ever after-school basketball program in Beijing, providing basketball training and fitness programs for boys and girls at all skill levels. In November 2011, NBA China and Dongguan New Century launched the CBA Dongguan Basketball School for players ages 12-17.

“Xinjiang has a large basketball fan base, and our professional teams in the CBA and WCBA are among the top teams in China. Through the NBA’s advanced concepts and training systems, I believe that we will be able to further our youth basketball development and lift the game of basketball to a higher level in Xinjiang.”
-Nie Chun, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Basketball Management Center Director

Coaching Staff

DEANE MARTIN
Technical Director
Coach Deane Martin has almost three decades of coaching experience at multiple levels. He has spent time as the head and assistant coach at multiple NCAA universities, and coached multiple G- League teams. In addition, Coach Martin has extensive international coaching experience, including stints with Jiangsu Lions (China), Potros Itson (Mexico), Sallen Basket (Sweden), and the Dominican Republic National Team.
LAWAYNE MCGHEE
Player Development Coach
Coach LaWayne McGhee has extensive experience as a scout, video coordinator and player development coach. He served as the Basketball Operations Assistant for the Bakersfield Jam while also serving as a college and G League scout. Prior to joining the NBA Academy Xinjiang staff, Coach McGhee was the head video coordinator and player development coach for the G League’s Westchester Knicks.
KURT TROPIANO
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Coach Kurt Tropiano is an accredited and certified strength and conditioning coach. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his master’s degree from Edith Cowan University in Australia. He has extensive experience working with junior-level athletes.
ALEX ENGLISH
Technical Advisor
Coach Alex English is an 8-time NBA All-Star, 3-time All-NBA Second Team member, and the 1983 NBA scoring champion. This 1997 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee has served in player development and assistant coaching roles with the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings.
JENNIFER AZZI
Global Technical Director, Women's Program
Coach Jennifer Azzi oversees all regions of the NBA Academy Women’s initiative. A former WNBA player (1999-2004), USA National Team Player (1988-2000), two-time NCAA All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist (1996), Jennifer has an abundance of basketball experience on the court and as a coach on the sidelines. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009) led the University of San Francisco women’s basketball program from 2010-2016.
BLAIR HARDIEK
Global Technical Director, Women's Program
Coach Blair Hardiek oversees all regions of The NBA Academies Women’s initiative. A former point guard and captain for the University of Missouri women’s basketball team, Blair served as the associate head coach at the University of San Francisco and helped lead the team to a West Coast Conference Championship in 2016. Blair’s playing and coaching experience will drive the scouting and talent development initiatives of The NBA Academy Women’s Program.