Neven Spahija to coach Chinese national team?

Neven Spahija to coach China?Neven Spahija leaves for China this weekend. He has been invited by the Chinese Basketball Federation to tour the country for two weeks and give clinics.

The 50-year-old Croatian coach also confirms that the Chinese want to discuss a “serious project” with him, but stopped short of saying exactly what that was.

China does not have a national team coach at the moment and is actively searching for one. Neven Spahija, on the other hand, is not coaching any club at the moment, so he is available.

His last job was during the 2011/2012 season when He coached Fenerbahce from Turkey (also during the 2010/2011 season).

Basketball is extremely popular in China. Most games are sold out, there is lots of media attention and millions are spent on American imports. There is not one single player currently in the CBA who comes from Europe or South America.

The Chinese national team is also a force in Asia (current Asian Champion) but is very far away from the leading Basketball countries in Europe and South America. That became painfully clear this summer when China was humiliated at the Olympic games, losing every single game and that by an average margin of 25 points.

If Neven Spahija would become the new head coach of the Chinese national team, then that would be sensational news because until now the Chinese have focused entirely on the US.

Not only when it comes to choosing players for their clubs, but also in regards to the whole Basketball culture and philosophy. For example, in the Chinese CBA league, they play 48-minute games like in the NBA, and league standings are determined by winning percentage (NBA) instead of points (rest of the world).

The head coach of the Chinese national team during the 2012 Olympic games was American Bob Donewald, assisted by Pete Philo and Li Nan.

In a poll among the visitors of this site 89 % estimated the level of the Chinese CBA league to be equal to that of Luxemburg and/or Sweden.

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