Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China forges new alliance with UNDER ARMOUR & Anytime Fitness to provide Performance Equipment, Youth Development & Global Fitness Facilities with ambition to nurture Olympic Hopefuls

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach Newswire - 18 June 2024 - The Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China announces an exclusive strategic partnership with professional sports brand UNDER ARMOUR and global fitness club Anytime Fitness in the "Exclusive Strategic Partnership Signing Ceremony of The Basketball Team of Hong Kong, China" held yesterday (June 17). The partnership ushers in a new and brighter future for local basketball players, elevating their training with professional equipment provided by UNDER ARMOUR and the global fitness facility of Anytime Fitness. With state-of-the-art resources and a comprehensive youth development program, the association sets sights on nurturing the next generation of elite players to represent Hong Kong in the upcoming Asian Games and Olympic Games.

The Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China signs contract with UNDER ARMOUR
The Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China signs contract with UNDER ARMOUR

All-round support for Team HK: state-of-the art equipment and global fitness facilities

The Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China is committed to promoting and improving the standards of local basketball and cultivating a new generation of basketball elites through systematic training, high-calibre matches and state-of-the-art equipment. Mr. Mok Yiu Keung, Team Leader of Men's Team of the Basketball Team of Hong Kong, China, said at the ceremony: "This partnership brings together top international brands in the sports industry to provide new and professional support to the local basketball team. The comprehensive training resources are expected to help nurture local basketball elites to not only play for Hong Kong in major 3x3 and 5x5 events, but also to win seats at the 2026 Asian Games and the 2028 Olympic Games.

UNDER ARMOUR, Partner for Performance Equipment and Youth Development, has always put the athlete in the first priority. By providing professional basketball equipment and youth development program to the Basketball Team of Hong Kong, China, the brand hopes to meet athletes' real needs with innovative performance solutions that enhance their ability to perform. Jason Archer, Managing Director of UNDER ARMOUR Asia Pacific said, "basketball is always one of UNDER ARMOUR's key sports and we can see that Hong Kong's basketball scene is vibrant and full of potential. Working with the Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China, we want to introduce our comprehensive youth development program, UA NEXT, to build and nurture a community of basketball lovers."

Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China forges new alliance with UNDER ARMOUR & Anytime Fitness

As Partner for Athlete Training, global fitness club Anytime Fitness shall provide the local basketball team with access to its network of global fitness facilities and professional coaching resources. Mark De Joya, Chief Operating Officer of Anytime Fitness Asia, believes Hong Kong's basketball talent is undeniable, and hopes their global fitness resources will offer the resources necessary for players to hone their skills, improve their physical conditioning, and reach their full potential during overseas training and competitions.

Players in new UNDER ARMOUR jerseys share views on local basketball

Players from the Hong Kong, China Basketball Team, including Leung Ka Hin, Oliver Xu, Chan Yan Man Yannie and Wong Nga Ting, also attended the event wearing the latest Hong Kong team jerseys sponsored by UNDER ARMOR. The 4 players shared their views on the Hong Kong basketball scene at the event. Leung Ka Hin, full-time basketball player since 2019, expressed: "Many young Hong Kong players with great potential often turn away from a full-time career because limited prospects and financial pressure result in lack of training and chance to play in high-calibre games. Hopefully, these players can enjoy better resources and unlock more potentials with the support of UNDER ARMOUR and Anytime Fitness."

Oliver Xu, who visited China to train with Chinese players during his off-season, believes that China has a more comprehensive basketball training model than Hong Kong, and their high-intensity training can help improve performance and competitiveness, "young players who have the chance to train or compete against stronger opponents early in their career can develop tougher physicality and better understand one's own shortcomings." Chan Yan Man Yannie, the first Hong Kong female player to play in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), talked about how her experience competing and training in the USA and the all-round performance improvement it can bring players, "the basketball training facilities in the US are comprehensively equipped. Apart from team coaches, there are also strength and conditioning coaches and physiotherapists that assist players so they can focus on training and competition. In the United States they also put great emphasis on sports psychology, with mindfulness and meditation practices to help me adjust my mindset during training and competition so I can perform better."

Given that inter-school basketball competitions in Hong Kong are now mostly organised in team competition format, offering D2 and D3 players less chance to participate in higher level matches. Wong Nga Ting, MVP of the Inter-school Basketball Competition 2024, talked about the future of young players, "there is currently no professional team in women's basketball. Everyone, especially young players, must balance studies or work with practice and competition in basketball. It is expected that under the youth training system, combined with individual selection, more players can have the opportunity to shine".

Local youth basketball bolstered by all-round youth training system and international training methods

To these ends, the Hong Kong Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China partners with UNDER ARMOUR to bring the brand's youth training system UA NEXT to Hong Kong with the goal to cultivate new blood for local 3x3 and 5x5 basketball to compete in high-calibre games such as the China National Youth Games, the East Asian Youth Games, the National Games of China 2025, the Asian Games 2026 and the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. This new basketball youth development program is set to focus on serving the U18 and U16 segments in the first two years, with plans to organize the UNDER ARMOUR Summer Youth League to look for potential young candidates for the UA NEXT training in China and other regions. Selected local players may also have the opportunity to represent the Asia-Pacific region to compete with American teams, earning international exposure and experience. In addition to the U22 team which will participate in the China National Games 2025, and the current U18 and U16 teams, multiple teams starting from U10 will be established in the future to ensure that young basketball players with potential can receive professional and all-round systematic training from an early age.

Towards Olympic dreams: establishment of new 3x3 pro teams under UA support

For 3x3 basketball, which has been quickly gaining popularity since its introduction in the 2020 Olympics, development has been booming as Southeast Asian countries flock to invest resources in the sport. The Basketball Association of Hong Kong, China will also work alongside UNDER ARMOR to promote 3x3 basketball in Hong Kong. In addition to the UA NEXT training program, UNDER ARMOUR's existing partnership with the China 3x3 Basketball Team also serves as a solid support for player and even coach training. In the future, 3x3 basketball and 5x5 basketball shall develop separately to ensure provision of a complete training system and adequate support to both categories. To enhance the competitiveness of local 3x3 basketball, sights are set to establish men's, women's and youth professional teams to participate in FIBA ​​3x3 Games.

At the same time, the Hong Kong Basketball Association also hopes to win the chance to host the FIBA ​​U18 and U16 3x3 and 5x5 basketball games. The vision is to work in line with the government to promote Hong Kong as an international sports event capital, while creating opportunities for local basketball players to obtain FIBA ​​points as a means to participate in more high-level events.

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