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Documentary Film Follows Babson Alum Norman de Silva ’09 as He Coaches a Chinese Basketball Team


Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a feature length documentary about 27 year-old Norman de Silva ’09 who from almost overnight was appointed head coach of the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Foshan Long Lions.

Every year the U.S. outsources more and more low-end manufacturing jobs to China, but now China is turning the tables and outsourcing jobs from the U.S. The CBA allows each of its teams to contract up to two American players and an American coach.

For Norman, coaching basketball in China was an opportunity of a lifetime, but as he dug deeper into the lives of his players, he realized that they endured endless yet mundane routines in order to become ‘model’ basketball players. He began to see that his biggest challenge was to help his players fall in love−all over again−with the game of basketball. Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a rare time-capsule of what it means to play basketball in China at a time when age-old eastern practices are clashing with new western methods.

Director Esteban Argüello has been developing the film for the last two years through Film Independent’s Doc Lab. The film is coming alive thanks to Quebracho Productions, producers Jiang Xuan, Giulia Caruso and None the Less Productions. Jiàoliàn [Coach] aims to, at the very least, honestly capture a story of what it means to be a basketball player in today’s China. Currently Norm de Silva is working with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers as a Management Operations and Development Assistant.

Crowdsourcing Campaign
Indiegogo recently launched a crowdsourcing campaign the final step in post-production for Quebracho Productions. Perks for donating to the campaign include the film as well as T-Shirts, Posters, signed jerseys, as well as dinner with the director and skype sessions with Norman for anyone interested in breaking into professional basketball. The filmmakers are hoping to raise the funds to pay for color corrections, sound mix, archival footage, graphics, and license music, all necessary to finish the film. Jiàoliàn [Coach] is also a non-profit being supported through the IDA meaning any donations (above the perk price) are tax deductible. For a link to their IDA page click here.

You can find the campaign starting here: Jiàoliàn [Coach] Indiegogo Campaign

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Esteban Argüello,, 661-993-8226