SALT LAKE CITY — About 15 coaches filed onto the mezzanine-like balcony overlooking a basketball practice court.
They wore warm-up apparel and sneakers.
As the Utes men’s team began its practice, some took notes in small Moleskine notebooks; others consulted printouts of set plays.
It was late September, so several assistant coaches were on the road recruiting, and the practice itself was focused on getting players into shape and integrating new faces as opposed to game-planning any opponents.
But it was still a big-time college basketball practice, so at times, it got intense.
Utah Coach Larry Krystkowiak stopped one drill and, in a not-angry-just-disappointed tone, told his team, You guys are just full of it today; everybody’s got something to say.
The observing coaches did not know exactly what Krystkowiak said, but they understood the coach’s frustration and determination.
And they took note.
They were among the best junior high and high school basketball coaches in China, brought to Utah’s gorgeous campus in a partnership between their government and the Pacific-12 Conference and the University of Utah.
他们属于中国最好的初高中篮球教练。因为中国政府与太平洋十二校联盟(Pacific-12 Conference)和犹他大学(University of Utah)的伙伴关系，他们来到了犹他大学美丽的校园。
This is no longer Ping-Pong diplomacy.
The coaches — they are very passionate when they train their players, said Sun Fengleng, who coaches in Jilin, a province in China’s northeast.
He is really good with the players, trains them well.
Sun added, I want to learn the attitude and bring it back.
Krystkowiak, a onetime N.B.A. power forward who has led the Utes to the N.C.A.A. tournament the past two seasons, seemed to endorse Sun’s takeaway.
If they want to improve at basketball, he said, it’s not always the place to be polite.
The Chinese government hopes many more coaches will learn that lesson.
Nearly 100 Chinese junior high and high school coaches in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, swimming and cheerleading were sent to Utah, and roughly the same number of Chinese college coaches went to Arizona State, which is also in the Pac-12.
近100名中国初高中男子和女子篮球、田径、游泳和拉拉队教练被送到犹他大学，和被送去亚利桑那州立大学(Arizona State University)的中国高校教练人数大致相当。该校也是太平洋十二校联盟的成员。
The coaches observed practices and weight-room sessions. They got some time on the court themselves with Utah coaches.
They participated in talks on injury rehabilitation and conducted film-room sessions.
They even got to see the final bit of this year’s football game against Brigham Young, known locally as the Holy War.
甚至还观看了今年对阵杨百翰大学(Brigham Young University)的橄榄球决赛。这场比赛在当地被称作圣战。
Indeed, it is partly America’s fairly unusual model of competitive athletics enshrined in educational institutions that the coaches have come to study, said Kyle Brennan, Utah’s deputy athletic director.
Coaches are coaches, he said with a chuckle.
Giving them a compliance class, they want to push the boundaries.
‘Why can’t I recruit a kid from another school?’ Well, these are the rules we’ve got.
The program is financed by the Chinese Scholarship Council and organized by Federation University Sports China — a sort of state-sponsored Chinese N.C.A.A. that saw the coaches’ trips as much more than relaxed junkets.