Talent scheme attracts basketball star

November 14, 2023

Stephon Marbury, a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, visited the Hong Kong Talent Engage office yesterday to apply for the Top Talent Pass Scheme


Secretary for Labour & Welfare Chris Sun met him and welcomed his application. 


Mr Marbury then learnt more about the scheme’s eligibility criteria and application process.


Promoting basketball


Playing in the professional basketball league in North America for 13 years, the two-time NBA All-Star was the head coach for the Beijing Royal Fighters.


He received honorary citizenship and permanent residence in Beijing. 


"Why Hong Kong?  I love Hong Kong. The city fits. The elements fit for me," Mr Marbury said when asked why he chooses this particular city. 


As an ambassador of InspiringHK Sports Foundation, a charity with a vision of developing better youths through sports, Mr Marbury stressed that he hopes to contribute to the basketball industry and charity work in Hong Kong. 


"Basketball is growing all over the world.  Asia is probably the most dominant. Over 300 million people here play basketball in China. For me, being able to have an input of how the game is growing here in Hong Kong, it means a lot."


He explained that Chinese culture has been life-changing for him and he yearns to share why he loves Beijing in an effort to give Hong Kong kids some insight. 

"An American guy speaking to Hong Kong kids about China, I think that is a kind of unique," he said. 


Providing assistance 


Hong Kong Talent Engage Director Anthony Lau described Mr Marbury as a fine example to show to the world that Hong Kong is a great place for talent to develop and flourish. 


He added that the Government will provide assistance to key talent to help them settle in Hong Kong in an effort to advance their careers and contribute to the city’s long-term development.   


"Before they arrive, like in Stephon’s (case), he wanted to know where he can find an apartment. We will introduce him to some real estate agents. If his kids want to go to school, we will tell them when it is the best time to come to make the applications to join a local school or an international school of their choice," Mr Lau said. 


Plus, the Hong Kong Talent Engage office will adjust its services to cater to the needs of different talent. 


According to the Labour & Welfare Bureau, the Top Talent Pass Scheme received 54,772 applications from December 28 last year to October 31 this year, of which 43,068 applications were approved. 


The nationalities of the approved applicants include talent from China, Canada, and the US.

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