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How Nike Basketball’s Signature Athletes Grow The Game Across The World

Nike Basketball’s Signature Athletes

Basketball is a global game, and Nike Basketball is committed to growing that game, fueling its culture, and giving back to the basketball family so it can thrive worldwide.

Nike Basketball signature athletes have helped to make that happen with annual international visits, most recently in Greater China, when Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo visited Guangzhou and Beijing with a focus on giving back to local communities. 

In the summertime, Nike Basketball invites its signature players to Greater China to meet young players and share personal stories of perseverance to inspire local kids. 

Antetokounmpo’s visit was highlighted by the unveiling of a new basketball court at Linfeng’e Elementary School in Guangzhou, donated by the Recycle-A-Shoe program.

The unique court was built using donated shoes from players and communities during the 2022-23 season of the Nike China High School Basketball League.

For Antetokounmpo, the Nike Grind court is part of Nike Basketball’s commitment to protect the future of sport and inspire the next generation to discover its fullest potential through the game. In his words, he wants to be a role model for kids, which is why he prioritizes spending time with them on these trips.

In sharing his inspiring personal story, he hopes to help pave the way for the next generation of players. He’ll also further show his commitment alongside players who have big competitive aspirations; over two days Giannis and his brothers are training in Beijing with an elite group consisting of the China Men’s National U16 team and the Nike China High School Basketball League select team, helping them improve their skills.

“I’m thrilled to connect with the passionate basketball fans in China, especially young kids,” says Antetokounmpo. “They are the future of sport. I hope to inspire and encourage them to embrace the power of basketball.”

Core to Nike Basketball’s commitment to the game is the development of grassroots play internationally. Giannis will personally select and train with players out of 40 candidates that best represent his mentality in Guangzhou’s Team Freak Assemble, the final stage of the nationwide Team Freak tryouts for grassroots players.

Team Freak will be rewarded with the opportunity to train with Giannis and participate in the tip-off of GGAC program in Beijing. GGAC is an open-run hoop platform designed to provide accessible game times and to progress for players who are passionate about basketball, especially those at school.

Since 2004, Nike Basketball signature players, such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, have visited more than 20 cities throughout Greater China to promote grassroots basketball, serving local communities and inspiring the region’s next generation of players.