What are Chinese players seeking in the U.S. during the CBA off-season?
Li Xiang
In the 2019 CBA off-season, while some players are training with the Chinese national team, some chose to go overseas for improve further. So far there are already 10 Chinese players spending their off-season in the U.S.
Wu Guanxi, center of the Jiangsu Dragons is currently practicing with his offensive skills including dribbling, hook under the rim, floater and perimeter shot. According to Tencent Sports, Wu's trainer asked him to keep doing various dunks even after the practice, which finally wore him out in the end. Judging by that, Wu seemed to be working on his strength, too.
Though Wu was doing much better in defense last season – he had remarkable performances of grabbing 18 rebounds or blocking seven shots in one single game and gave Donatas Motiejūnas a hard time in the playoffs – he was struggling when he met Yi Jianlian of the Guangdong Southern Tigers because Wu lacked enough moves in offense. That's probably why he is focusing on this area in the U.S. now.
Zhao Yanhao #25 of the Zhejiang Lions makes a layup in the game. /VCG Photo

Zhao Yanhao #25 of the Zhejiang Lions makes a layup in the game. /VCG Photo

Zhao Yanhao, forward of the Zhejiang Lions and Du Runwang, forward of the Southern Tigers are also in the U.S. Zhao is trying to enhance his strength to he won't be pushed around in physical games; Du is working on how to stabilize his shooting so he can keep contributing to the team instead of counting on touch and luck.
The Tianjin Pioneers sent their assistant coach Liu Tie together with four players to the U.S. While the four players work on how to get stronger physically, Liu's mission is to learn the better training and practicing methods of the U.S. so the rest of the team can benefit when they return to China.
The Chinese national basketball team in training session /VCG Photo

The Chinese national basketball team in training session /VCG Photo

Even the Chinese national team have overseas plan as well. They will go to the U.S. in July to participate the 2019 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. So what's there in the U.S. that keeps attracting Chinese players? What can they get from a trip to Uncle Sam?
For starters, more specific training sessions. As the base of the NBA, the U.S. outmatches the rest of the world in basketball infrastructure. Even a university can have better hardware than some professional CBA teams. Moreover, in software, there are enough professional trainers in the U.S. who gained rich experience from working with NBA players. They know what a guy needs and thus will make very specific plans - ranging from strength building to shooting practice - for a player to implement for improvement.
Second, more competitive practice. It's hard to find game opponent in the off-season, both for the national team and for clubs. However, competing on the court is the best, if not the only way to test training result. There are various non-professional basketball leagues in the U.S., which are only amateur events but can attract star players like James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Chances of playing on the same court with these people are simply too valuable to miss.
Third, better concentration. It's true that most players have to spend everyday alone overseas, which can be difficult, but helpful for their career. When a player can turn his life into a simple combination of gym (arena) and bedroom, he can focus 100 percent on self-improvement instead of being distracted by parties and other distractions.