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From 1930, and even before the beginning of the official competitions, many players came not only from each club's player pool, but also from two or three very traditional schools specialized in the art of competitive basketball.
The "Kiev school", the "Saber School" or even the "Vonkann Schule" were the precursors, each with its particular methodology. Later, with the development of university basketball, they moved on to specializing in specific training for WBC championship players, since these championships require special skills from the players. Now they call themselves Official Schools of the WBC.
Since the following years up to the current day, new schools have joined the original three, each one promoting its own style and focusing in different degrees on tactics, offense, and entertainment.
The WBC Official Schools have become very powerful and resourceful organizations in the sporting world. These schools send their talent hunters across the globe and organize competitions at national and local levels in the five continents, dedicating their time to the search for players with the potential to become genuine basketball stars.
There are players from other federations, or universities, but the majority of the WBC players come from one of the official schools. In some cases, some players received their training in a combination of two or more schools.
It is unclear who founded it, and today nobody knows for sure whose control the school is under. The Basketball American School or BAS is a private institution in which large US firms have shares. Recently, it seems a Chinese industrial group has bought in, planning to expand its business to Asia.
The American School was inaugurated in 1973, and during its short history it has had four different presidents and many technical directors and coaches. Despite its shaky social standing, it is without doubt the school with the most modern teams and technology allowing for the most advanced training in the world.
The American School focuses mainly on the showmanship of basketball and it has produced some of the most high profile and most loved players such as Ricky "Ground-To-Air" Poveda, the player who invented the "Tomahawk" slam dunk, and Mike Milton Rivera a.k.a. "Miracle", famous for his inimitable
Today, the great passion that the sport sparks on the American continent and the school's enormous funding explains why the best players of the WBC are queuing up to join it.
This school was founded soon after the first three official ones joined the WBC. It is made up of the fusion of various small schools with different techniques from across Asia, from Persia to Japan. The AUBC (Asia United Basketball Clubs) is possibly the strongest of all the schools, because it combines very different concepts on attack, defense and tactics. In this school ancient formulas are mixed with the most advanced technology, producing solid, high-level players.
Their methods are shrouded in mystery and may include kung-fu and ninja techniques, as well as nutrition strategies possibly designed for astronauts. Its players are selected from an enormous pool of candidates and only the best can make it into this school. They are normally players balanced in all aspects of the game, excelling almost equally in any position.
In 1929 the former player of the Bolsoi Kiev, Anatoli Povedily, founded the legendary Kiev school. Povedily had just had an accident at his home in Kiev; he fell down the stairs from the second floor. Given that he had had his playing license revoked after having publicly expressed his political beliefs, suicide rumors mixed with rumors of possible attempted homicide.
The Kiev school is characterized by its defensive style, which some call
The wall. Its training method is based on intense physical work, so hard it has no comparison. It gives the player a high-performing, rock-solid physique greatly valued for centers. Some of their training is done outside in extreme temperatures (below zero) and may include lifting blocks of ice weighing more than one hundred kilos.
The Kiev School only has branches in Northern Europe and Russia. Players who want to train using this style must go to one of these cities, and psyche themselves up to leave there as cold and hard as rocks. The best defenses in the history of the WBC have belonged to this school, and the stamina and resoluteness of its members are legendary.
Another mythical school, which is difficult to join and doesn't take on just any player, is the Saber School.
Run and Shoot was the mantra of its founder, George "Speedy" Custer III, unfortunately no longer with us, was possibly a descendant of the legendary General Custer.
This school is definitely oriented towards attack, basing its style on speed and precision shooting. Its facilities in San Lorenzo claim to have the most powerful explosive training systems in the world today.
None of the Saber players have a basic shot percentage below 90% accuracy out of competition. This school has produced great players who are known for their speed and constant harassment of the opponent, bombarding the enemy basket with continuous shots and explosive play.
At the peak of the WBC at international level, youths across the world trained tirelessly in order to be admitted in the ranks of their favorite basketball schools. But to be able to get into a school they didn't just have to be the best, they had to have specific characteristics that adapted to the training profiles of those Great Schools. This left out many players with incredible potential but who hadn't received the adequate training.
In 1976, Jacky "Ultimate" O'Donovan, indisputably the most famous player of the street leagues, decided to raise money to found his own basketball school, a self-managed school that could compete with the great schools of the WBC. The school motto was
No Limits and it was carried out to the letter.
Despite the fact the training style of the UUS could seem anarchic and chaotic, in just two years it managed to place its players in the best teams of the WBC. Only those who have true potential can triumph in its ranks. They may be players who fall outside the standards of other teams, but they are capable of the feats of true basketball stars.
Today, there is no challenge that the UUS will not accept.
This is the ultimate tactical school, home to some of the best point guards in the history of the WBC.
Named in honor of the German family Vonkann, whose family company Vonkann Schmuser or VonkannBalls", devoted part of its profits to creating an "enlightened" basketball school. In 1946, the eldest son, Gustav Vonkann, opened the largest facility in basketball history, a school that now has branches on all continents.
The Vonkann players are skillful and give the team a vision of the game that is hard to improve, offering the team strategic possibilities of the highest level. From this school comes the motto
Basketball is played with the mind, not with the hands.