In June 2012, Koryo Tours made history by organising the first ever basketball trip to the DPRK. The group from Coaches Team International was made up of 14 basketball coaches and players who were all travelling to Pyongyang for the first time to share their basketballing expertise with North Korean youth teams. The team did 2 training sessions -- the first at Mangyongdae Schoolchildren's Palace and the second at Kang Bank Sok Middle School.
In 2012 in collaboration with Coaches International, Koryo Tours took the first group of American basketball coaches into the DPRK to teach their skills and techniques to some of the hoops-crazy youth of the country. While visiting schools around Pyongyang and Kaesong the coaches arranged clinics and short matches to develop skills and bring a new dimension of teaching to what is one of the most popular sports in the country. Local sports teachers were very welcoming and the students benefitted a great deal from the classes, both in terms of developing their existing talents, learning new skills, and getting the chance to interact with American visitors who had made the journey specifically to teach basketball. A rare and valuable opportunity. In addition to the gains and benefits to the local students the coaches themselves got the chance to see how the DPRK teaches sports, to mix with the students and teachers, to take part in real sports diplomacy and really make a difference. This first trip (we continue to work with Coaches International on these efforts) was what inspired the organisers of the original Dennis Rodman basketball trip to take on their project too.