Low Key NBA’s Awesome NBA Quiz:

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Scroll down to see explanations for each NBA quiz question.

NBA Quiz questions and multiple choice answers:

  1. Famous dunker Dr. J: what is his real name?
    1. ​​​Jason Hardaway
    2. Julius  Randle
    3. Jae Crowder
    4. Julius Erving
  2. Why did Michael Jordan retire from the Chicago Bulls after winning 3 straight championships, and 6 overall?
    1. Because he said there was nothing left for him to accomplish
    2. Because the NBA held a lockout in 1999
    3. Because he despised the Chicago Bulls front office
    4. Because he was mentally drained after a tumultuous season
  3.  This NBA player scored 38,387 points, grabbed 17,440 boards, and blocked 3,189 shots.
    1. Wilt Chamberlain
    2. Bill Russell
    3. Bill Walton
    4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  4. Who was the first player to record back-to-back 50 point games in the 2000s?
    1. Stephon Marbury
    2. Allen Iverson
    3. Ray Allen
    4. Antawn Jamison
  5. What is Joel Embiid’s nickname?
    1. The process
    2. The stallion
    3. The big dude
    4. Deep from 3
  6. Why did Gordon Hayward leave the Celtics?
    1. Because Utah was too white
    2. Bill Russell convinced him
    3. He wanted to play for Brad Stevens
    4. He hated the Midwest
  7. Who had the most assists ever in an NBA game?
    1. Magic Johnson
    2. Jason Kidd
    3. Scott Skiles
    4. John Stockton
  8. Who was the youngest player ever to record a triple double in an NBA game?
    1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim
    2. Ben Simmons
    3. Kobe Bryant
    4. Markelle Fultz
  9. Which one of these players scored 70 points in an NBA game?
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Devin Booker
    3. Ray Allen
    4. Allen Iverson
  10. Which one of these NBA players never shot a free throw underhanded?
    1. Chinanu Onuaku
    2. Rick Barry
    3. Shaquille O’Neal
    4. Wilt Chamberlain
  11. The NBA was invented in which year:
    1. 1927
    2. 1949
    3. 1952
    4. 1960
  12. What was the name of the person who invented the NBA?
    1. James Naismith
    2. Bill Cartwright
    3. David Stern
    4. Bud Selig

NBA Quiz Answers:

  1. Julius Erving spent a couple of years in the ABA, but his entire NBA career was spent with the Philadelphia 76ers.
  2. All of the above! MJ mentioned all of these things as reasons over the years. Except for the lockout response, but everyone else seemed to think so.
  3. Kareem Abdul Jabar put up these historical numbers. This is a classic, well known NBA quiz trivia question.
  4. Jamison had back-to-back 50 point games in the 2000-2001 season, while playing for the Golden State Warriors. The second of his two 50 point games came against the Lakers, in which Kobe Bryant also scored 50 points!!!
  5. Joel Embiid has been called ‘The Process’ since he was the foundational cornerstone chosen by deposed GM Sam Heinke, who embarked on a year difficult process in which the Sixers lost many games but showed patience and started winning. 
  6. He had previously played for coach Stevens while at Butler University. Stevens won 4 conference championships there before moving to the Boston Celtics.
  7. Magic point guard Scott Skiles dished out 30 assists in a 155-116 victory against the Denver Nuggets at Orlando Arena. 
  8. Markelle Fultz, though he has been ridiculed for being a bust for being chosen number one, for not having panned out; he actually recorded a triple double and was the youngest NBA player to do ever do so. This is a rare and tough NBA quiz question!!!
  9. Most people might answer this NBA quiz question by guessing MJ or Iverson. But believe it or not it was Devin Booker for the Phoenix Suns! And by the way, his team lost the game.
  10. Shaq is the only one on that list who didn’t ever try an underhanded free throw, despite being advised to by many experts. 
  11. The NBA was invented in 1949 when the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA. This is a classic NBA trivia quiz question – memorize it now!
  12. Dr James Naismith invented the NBA. Stern was the commissioner in the 90s and 2000s. Cartwright was a Center for Chicago Bulls, and Selig was commish in the MLB around the same time as Stern.

Current Jewish NBA Players

Omri Casspi
In terms of Jewish NBA players, the list is pretty thin. In fact, there seems to be only two active NBA players who are Jewish, and that is Omri Casspi and Jordan Farmar.

The immediate question is: Why so few Jews in the NBA in 2018-2019?

Why is there such a dearth of current Jewish NBA players, especially considering that there are at least 10 Jews currently playing in the MLB.

I suppose the reason is due to the large enclaves of Jews in inner cities who mostly embraced baseball while growing up. Stickball or baseball dominated inner cities like New York City, (all of 5 boroughs), Chicago, and a few others. 

As for basketball, well, the funny but unfortunate truth is that Jews were never known for being physically imposing (Kevin Youkilis and Bill Goldberg are the execptions), hence the lack of famous or well know basketball Jewish players. Jews are known less for brawn and more for smarts. Hence, the dearth of Jews in the NBA and NFL. Though the early days of the NBA had plenty of Jewish stars, notably Dolph Schayes. Nowadays, however, there seems to exist more of a pipeline from Israel (the lack of physicality doesn't exist as much with Israel as it does with Jews) in general, with Casspi being a shining example.

Omri Casspi

Casspi, who is both Israeli and Jewish, was surprisingly drafted early with the 23rd overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the hapless Sacramento Kings. Though other Israelis had indeed been drafted in the past, Casspi was the first to crack the 1st round, and was actually expected to contribute, and ended up being the first Israeli to play in the NBA. 

Casspi was then traded in 2011 to the Cavs. He then signed with the Rockets in 2013, then traded to the Pelicans in 2014, then waived. Unsurprisingly, Casspi came back home to the Kings (or perhaps it was surprising, since Casspi seems to be the only NBA player to enjoy playing for the pathetic Sacramento Kings), and he re-upped with them in 2014. 

In terms of effectiveness, Casspi has definitely made strides as a rotation player. This past season he put up 11 ppg with 40% from 3. With today's NBA gravitating toward 3 and D guys who can run, Casspi has suddenly become valuable. Check out his career stats:

Per Game
Year Team G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TOPG FG% 3P% FT%
09-10 Sac 77 25.1 10.3 4.5 1.2 0.7 0.2 1.3 .446 .369 .672
10-11 Sac 71 24.0 8.6 4.3 1.0 0.8 0.2 1.0 .412 .372 .673
11-12 Cle 65 20.6 7.1 3.5 1.0 0.6 0.3 1.0 .403 .315 .685
12-13 Cle 43 11.7 4.0 2.7 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.5 .394 .329 .537
13-14 Hou 71 18.1 6.9 3.7 1.2 0.6 0.2 1.0 .422 .347 .680
14-15 Sac 67 21.1 8.9 3.9 1.5 0.5 0.1 1.3 .489 .402 .733
15-16 Sac 69 27.2 11.8 5.9 1.4 0.8 0.2 1.4 .481 .409 .648
16-17 Sac 22 18.0 5.9 4.1 1.2 0.5 0.0 0.8 .453 .379 .571
16-17 NO 1 24.0 12.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 .556 .500
16-17 Min 13 17.1 3.5 1.5 0.8 1.0 0.2 0.8 .500 .200 .625
16-17 Total 36 17.9 5.2 3.1 1.0 0.6 0.1 0.8 .470 .349 .586
17-18 GS 53 14.0 5.7 3.8 1.0 0.3 0.4 0.7 .580 .455 .725
Career 552 20.7 8.0 4.1 1.2 0.6 0.2 1.0 .451 .369 .678

On July 11, 2018, Casspi signed with the Memphis Grizzlies, and figures to provide veteran leadership as they attempt to return to the playoffs.

TJ Leaf

Leaf was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and moved to California as a kid, and ended up playing for the UCLA Bruins. He was later selected by the Pacers in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft with the 18th overall pick. 

Leaf figures to have a promising NBA career – standing at 6'10 and weighing 230 lb, with a shot that stretches out to the 3 point line, he is suited for the modern NBA. We expect him to get more playing time as the upcoming season progresses.

TJ LEAF PPG 3PT% FT% FG% ASSISTS BLOCKS STEALS OREB DREB MIN
2017-18 12.7 20 57.1 48.5 3 0 2 5 14 80
NBA Rank 439th 38th 418th 181st 439th 424th 255th 368th 361st

Recent Jewish NBA Players:

Jordan Farmar
Although he's no Smush Parker, Farmar is a local legend when people talk about former LA Lakers' point guards. Farmar has the best of both worlds: his mother is Jewish, (making him fully Jewish according to Jewish law), and his father was a minor league baseball player, thereby giving him the athleticism that seems to escape most Jews. Jordan Farmar even went to Hebrew School in LA, and had a Bar Mitzvah.

As for his NBA prowess, well, Farmar is no slouch, as he has eked out a moderately successful NBA career. Although never really a starter, Farmar is a top notch backup point guard, who knows how to run an offense and keep things fluid. He won't take over a game, but he'l keep things stable and can score occasionally as well.

Farmar's biggest contribution came in the playoffs (he is a two time champ), and his performance in the 2009-2010 playoffs (particularly in the Finals) were rock solid, providing smart passing and solid long distance shooting down the stretch.

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 L.A. Lakers 72 2 15.1 .422 .328 .711 1.7 1.9 .6 .1 4.4
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 82 0 20.6 .461 .371 .679 2.2 2.7 .9 .1 9.1
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 65 0 18.3 .391 .336 .584 1.8 2.4 .9 .2 6.4
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 82 0 18.0 .435 .376 .671 1.6 1.5 .6 .1 7.2
2010–11 New Jersey 73 18 24.6 .392 .359 .820 2.4 5.0 .8 .1 9.6
2011–12 New Jersey 39 5 21.3 .467 .440 .905 1.6 3.3 .6 .1 10.4
2013–14 L.A. Lakers 41 5 22.2 .415 .438 .746 2.5 4.9 .9 .2 10.1
2014–15 L.A. Clippers 36 0 14.7 .386 .361 .909 1.2 1.9 .6 .1 4.6
2015–16 Memphis 12 10 24.3 .420 .356 1.000 2.1 3.1 1.3 .2 9.2
2016–17 Sacramento 2 0 17.5 .333 .444 1.5 4.5 1.0 .0 6.0
Career 504 40 19.5 .423 .374 .739 1.9 2.9 .8 .1 7.7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007 L.A. Lakers 5 5 22.8 .429 .200 .857 2.8 1.6 1.2 .2 6.4
2008 L.A. Lakers 21 0 17.1 .383 .386 .875 1.6 1.3 .3 .2 5.7
2009 L.A. Lakers 20 1 13.0 .391 .308 .737 1.6 1.7 .5 .2 4.7
2010 L.A. Lakers 23 0 13.1 .404 .400 .692 1.2 1.4 .7 .0 4.6
2016 Memphis 4 4 28.3 .323 .333 1.000 1.5 4.0 .8 .3 6.8
Career 73 10 15.7 .389 .355 .793 1.5 1.6 .6 .1 5.2

 

Gal Mekel

Mekel has had an interesting journey in recent years, but is no longer in the NBA.

After playing NCAA with two years at Wichita State, he played in Israel and then Italy. In 2013, he signed a three-year minimum salaried contract with the Dallas Mavericks. In doing so, he became the 2nd Israeli in the NBA (Casspi was the first). Unfortunately for Mekel, his NBA career didn't last long, with his paltry career numbers as evidence:

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013–14 Dallas 31 1 9.4 .349 .250 .667 .9 2.0 .1 .0 2.4
2014–15 New Orleans 4 0 10.8 .150 .0 .0 .3 3.3 .5 .0 1.5
Career   35 1 9.6 .311 .217 .667 .8 2.2 .2 .0 2.3

Though Mekel is not an active player, he is certainly on the fringe, and on the radar of a handful of GM's who need reserve point guards.

This article overlaps with our NBA players from Israel page. Also, be sure to check out our new list of Italian NBA players!

Future Jewish NBA Players:

Deni Avdija is the talk of the town as a possible top 5 pick in the 2020 NBA draft. At  6’9, Avdija possesses excellent ball skills in the open floor. He has the ability to pass on the move and has a great feel for the game. He finished the FIBA U20 tournament with averages of 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game, also placing second in the tournament with an efficiency index at 22.6 on average.

Cedi Osman & LeBron James Text Message Exchange

In light of the barrage of articles talking about Cedi Osman and LeBron James' friendship in both offseason workouts and SMS exchanges, we woud like to reveal a text message exchange between the two former teammates:

[This is a parody]

  • cedi: sup lebron [11:30 AM]
  • lebron: yo [4:42 PM]
  • cedi: did you see kawhi last nite??? krazy! [4:43 PM]
  • lebron: nah [10:52 PM]
  • cedi: oh, cool cool. whatchu up to tonight?? [10:53 PM]
  • lebron: chillin [1:31 AM]
  • cedi: noice! im in your area at club X now with some friends, wana join??? [1:31 AM]
  • lebron: sry fell asleep [8:32 AM]
  • cedi: oh no worries!! whatcha up to today??? [8:33 AM]
  • lebron: space jam 2 [12:52 PM]
  • cedi: coooool!! if you need an extra i am so down to join!! [12:52 PM]
  • lebron: word [6:16 PM]
  • cedi: :))) [6:16 PM]

 

References:

Image source:

How Many Players Are Needed To Make Up A Basketball Team?

Are you new at basketball? If so, it is likely that you know very little about the sport and how many players can be on a basketball team.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports on all levels, including minor and major leagues. One of the first things you will need to know is how many players it takes to make up a basketball team.

 

Below, you will read about how many players per team, roster, and different leagues:

Basketball Teams

Whether you’re talking about the NCAA, NBA or high school basketball, you can guarantee that the numbers of players on each team are going to be the same. After all, high school coaches want to prepare their players for the bigger leagues. Therefore, they’re going to have the same number of players on the court simultaneously.

The number of teams in each league varies. For instance, you might find more teams in the FIBA than the NBA and vice versa.

How Many Players on a Basketball Team?

So, how many players can you expect to see on the court at any given time? When it comes down to it, each team will need five players on the court. If they do not have five players, they may be required to forfeit the game. This would make them the losers and automatically declare the other team the winner. Just remember that there are actually more players on the team overall. Only five can play at a time, but there may very well be more players. After all, the team is going to need reserves.

In the NBA, there will be five starters and five reserves. It is only possible to have 12 active players at once. Five of the starters will begin the game. After that, they can be substituted by benched or reserved players. Either way, each NBA team needs at least 10 players. On a middle school team, there will need to be 12 players on average. Usually, there is a maximum of 15. The maximum number of players on an NBA team’s roster is 15.

Five Players Per Team Plus Reserves

At the end of the day, the numbers are pretty much universal. Whether you’re playing at the amateur, high school or professional level, you can guarantee that there will be five players from each team on the court at any given time. There will be reserve players to fill in for these starters when they get tired or injured.

Was Kobe Bryant Named After An Expensive Beef?

Kobe Bryant is a name that appears in all the headlines. Most of the time it is for his outstanding performance on the court, but it seems like this time he is appearing in the headline for something different altogether. Most people don't know that Kobe's father actually named him after the famous and expensive beef of Kobe!

Image from Flickr

His father came up with the name after he saw it on a menu in a Japanese restaurant. What's even more fascinating is that his middle name Bean is derived from his father's nickname Jellybean. So, why is Kobe appearing in the headlines for the fact that he was named after a famous beef?

Well, that is because the NBA great has filed a lawsuit against the entire Japanese city of Kobe.

This makes for an interesting case from 2010 considering the fact that the city of Kobe has been around much longer than Kobe Bryant himself and this is where his father got the name from. However, Kobe's lawyer's claim is that Mr. Bryant has become more famous and influential than the city. He also claims that Kobe gets paid a lot of money by a lot of major companies just to have his name associated with this product.

The good news is that in recent years Kobe has embraced the 'kobe beef' aspect of his name, as seen in this video below:

Vegetarian and Vegan NBA players

Are there actually vegetarian and vegan NBA players currently in the league? Yes indeed, read below:

Proper food increases abilities of professional sportsmen, and they can perform better if they consume it regularly. In the past, people believed eating meat is necessary for those who want to gain more strength. But the new scientific research discovered that vegan food is in fact much healthier and grows the physical and mental power of the human organism.

That is why vegan sportsmen including those that play in NBA have better form and can perform more than meat eaters. The players use vegan food to support their bodies and overall health condition. They feel better, sleep better have better performances during training and games, according to their words. So the scientific reports are supported with real human experience on positive effects of eating such food. 


1. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is one of those vegan NBA players that supports personal efficiency on the basketball field with vegan food. He was born in Melbourne, Australia on 23 March 1992 and currently plays for Boston Celtics. With his new basketball team, Kyrie Irving decided to change the food regiment as well. He excluded meat for all of his meals in an attempt to perform better on the NBA field. It was not hard for him to discover all the benefits of such a healthy lifestyle, and he did not hide it. Irving explained that vegan food is really supportive for his entire organism and that it was the right decision to start excluding meal. The body of this NBA player is now in much better shape, according to his own words. He feels awesome, has more strength and his energy is up. All that thanks to vegan food. 


2. Garrett Temple

Garrett Temple is also a vegan NBA player born on May 8, 1986, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He had difficulties in 2012 when he played for Miami Heat. He wanted to achieve progress, but it was impossible during that period. However, Ray Allen, his team colleague and senior player at the time had much better results and performances. Garrett Temple was strongly impressed by physical abilities, so he asked Ray Allen for advice. Then, he heard that Ray did not eat meat and other animal products such as beef and bacon. He claimed it was a recipe for his professional success. So Garrett Temple started to implementing that strategy after the talk with his team members, and the results began to show up. He quickly discovered the benefits of this food regiment and his body started to advance. He got more power and strength. His body feels well, and the professional results were better. 


3. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is the third vegan NBA player on this list. He was born on July 15, 1990, in Oakland, California. Damian currently plays for Portland Trail Blazers and has increased efficiency due to the food regiment. He was an exceptional talent even from the beginning of its professional career. However, he had a problem with really unpleasant pain in his joints, so he decided to change something in order to avoid such issues in the future. The vegan diet was one of the steps he implemented into his life on a daily basis.   This type of food led him to the path of healing. He felt a significant improvement almost instantly after implementing the vegan diet. His joints reacted in a positive way, and the pain became more tolerable. However, Damian Lillard is also applying other techniques to support the vegan diet in his health endeavors. He is trying to play easier avoiding strong pressure on his joints. 


4. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol is the last NBA vegan player on this list. He was born on January 29, 1985, in Barcelona, Spain. He plays for Memphis Grizzlies and has lost roughly 40 pounds considering his weight in the high school. due to the vegan diet. That increased his efficiency on the basketball field. His body started becoming more flexible and movable. But he also felt better and his overall health is much better condition that in the past. In fact, Marc Gasol was underrated when he came to the NBA, so he searched for the solution to increase the abilities and performance. 

Who Is the Leading NBA MVP Candidate in 2019?

With the 2019 portion of the 2018-19 NBA season upon us, it finally feels like we have enough of a sample size to begin the discussion of who currently belongs in the NBA MVP conversation for this season.

CURRENT NBA 2019 MVP CONTENDERS:

  1. Giannis Antentokounmpo, MIL – After finishing last season with a 44-38 record, 7th seed in the East, and a first round exit at the hands of Boston, Milwaukee is well on its way to a 50+ win campaign. At the moment they are 26-10 and only a ½ game behind Toronto for first in the East in large part due to “The Greek Freak.” Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks in PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, and FG%. At 24, he will have many opportunities to win the award in the future and this season appears to be the first of a long run of MVP contention. If he keeps up this production for the rest of the season, it will be difficult to deny him #1 of his young career.
  2. James Harden, HOU – The defending MVP is currently playing the best basketball of his career and has forced himself back among the top names in any MVP discussion. Let’s recap his December: 36.4 PPG, most in December by anyone since Jordan in 1986, 2nd most points by a Rocket in a calendar month only trailing Moses Malone in 1982 (he won MVP), joined Kobe and MJ as the only players to score 400 points in a 10-game stretch in the last 30 years, current 8 game streak of 35+ points and 5+ assists passed Oscar Robertson for most all-time, going for his 5th straight 40 point game tonight in Oakland against the Warriors, and most importantly, has brought Houston from 14th in the packed West to 4th and all while Chris Paul has been out.
  3. Kawhi Leonard, TOR – The clear best player on the league’s best team. Arguably the league’s best two-way (perimeter) player. Leonard is not new to the MVP field and a 60+ win season by the Raptors along with a #1 seed in the conference could be the classic MVP formula for him to take home his first if no one else steps up and distinguishes himself from the pack in the second half of the season. Leads the team in points, rebounds, and steals as he heads back to San Antonio tonight for the first time, fresh off a 45 point output on NYE.

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR:

  1. LeBron James, LAL – Leads the Lakers in PPG, APG, and RPG as they currently stand in the playoff standings and 4 games out of 1st. Los Angeles has not appeared in the playoffs since 2013, but look to return this season with “King James” leading the way for this young team.
  2. Anthony Davis, NOP – The Pelicans would need to make a similar 2nd half playoff push led by AD if he has any shot at the MVP, but even doing so would likely not be enough in this competitive crowd.
  3. Kevin Durant / Stephen Curry, GSW – Both are playing at their usual MVP level. However, they likely cancel eachother out on the league’s best team, similar to Kobe and Shaq in the early 2000’s. One would likely need the other to be out extensively to even have a legitimate chance to end the season with another MVP trophy.
  4. Russell Westbrook / Paul George, OKC – Westbrook is probably the only one of the two with a real chance although George has been great thus far. Russ is currently on pace to average a triple-double for the 3rd straight season!!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS THAT NEED HISTORIC RUNS TO HAVE A SHOT

  1. Nikola Jokic, DEN
  2. Joel Embiid, PHI
  3. Damian Lillard, POR
  4. Kemba Walker, CHA
  5. Blake Griffin, DET
  6. Kyrie Irving, BOS
  7. LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS
  8. Luka Doncic, DAL
  9. Victor Oladipo, IND
  10. Marc Gasol, MEM

 

The Secret to Become Tall Like NBA Players

Why are basketball players so tall? How do NBA basketball players reach such large heights such as 7 feet tall and more? It's a question that many observers have been wondering for quite some time.

Height obviously matters when it comes to playing basketball. Tall people are usually more efficient, they can reach the basket easily, allowing for more points per game, as well as rebounds and blocked shots.

Scouts usually search for tall young talents that have potential to become great basketball players. It is as a rule when it comes to this matter. Many would love to play basketball professionally, but there are just a few real talents. And proper height can certainly help. You can find different details and information on many exercises, supplements, and nutrition that can help you with this.

If you watch NBA regularly, you certainly notice that many players are above 6"6. Some of them are naturally tall. Their parents were tall, and the genetics did its job. But some others are performing different exercise or taking various supplements to grow more.

Basketball Exercises to Grow Taller

Stretching exercises are usually an efficient way to increase your height. However, those who perform them have to be patient and persistent. The results will not come overnight, and you have to give maximum if you want maximal results. Professional basketball players are performing some of those exercises on a regular basis.

Swimming is also a great thing because it is a natural way of stretching. It forces you to move the entire body. Your hands must go ahead, and you have to stretch your legs as well. In fact, swimming is an excellent exercise for every part of the body, so you should perform it as often as possible if you want to increase your height.

Some yoga positions, such as Cobra are also very good for the purpose. You have to lay down on your chest and toes in a horizontal position while touching the floor with forehead gently. Then you have to place your hands next to the chest while moving your elbow up at the same time. Now push the floor with your hands pulling the chest and shoulders up. Stay ten seconds in that position and repeat it after that. You should continue doing this exercise occasionally, but it is best to use it in combination with other similar movements.

There are a list of other yoga positions that might be helpful for increasing height, and this is just an example of what you should do if you want to grow taller. Stretching on rods and hanging exercises are also good for the purpose. You can do it every day if you have enough free time because it cannot make side effects. However, it is important to warm up muscles before start stretching on rods. If you do not do that, the injuries are possible.

Basketball Players Height Secrets

Professional basketball players train a lot, sometimes 6-7 hours per day. The physical activity itself helps them to support muscles, and it might lead to further growth after early age. If you play basketball every day, you jump to the basket all the time stretching your body that way. Some people have increased their height, thanks to this sports game. But it is not enough if you want maximal results.

Professional players train in a gym a lot, and it also helps them to increase the level of testosterone in their bodies, which might help them to grow more. However, one of the most hidden basketball players height secrets is that they often consume various supplements, and nutrition.

Human Growth Hormone or just HGH is a quite popular product among those who want to grow fast. Many believe a large number of NBA players have been taking it continuously in secret. The product supports growth hormone cells leading to the height boost. It offers many benefits when it comes to this matter, but it can also leave many side effects with an ability to seriously jeopardize your overall health condition. In fact, HGH is a version of the steroid, and they are not recommended for use.

Professional basketball players have a great financial interest though. The salaries are exceptionally high, and they take a risk with an intention to play more efficiently and earn even more.  However, there are other supplements and nutrition programs that might help with this. They are maybe not so efficient as steroids, but they still work more or less, and people use them.

Are Basketball Players Naturally Tall?

Genetic predispositions play an important role, of course. The majority of players are indeed naturally tall, but they also work on themselves, train regularly, perform various exercises and often take different ingredients to support the growth, muscles, and overall health. Playing a professional basketball is a demanding task that requires a full commitment. So they have to involve all those things if they want to achieve success.

However, there are some players that are not tall at all. If you watch basketball games regularly, you have certainly notice that. They are a minority but are very skilled with a ball and efficient while playing. But tall people are usually better under the basket because they can reach it easily making more points enabling their basketball teams to win. That is why scouts often choose them instead of short people. Their teams get more benefits with them becoming more efficient.

Furthermore, many scientific researchers work on that question, and they currently understand just 23% of the genes of the height. It means the scientists do not understand all the factors involved in making people tall and short. However, they will probably discover more in the coming years, so humanity will get a precise answer to the question.

How Do Basketball Players Grow so Tall

They are often tall naturally thanks to the genes. But they also take different supplements and ingredients which help them to increase the height. Professional basketball players train a lot performing various exercises including those for a fast growth. These are common reasons why they are taller than other people.

They combine good genes, various exercises and ingredients to become significantly taller than an ordinary human being. Female basketball players are also taller than women who are not involved in this sport. The reasons are the same for them too.

Mureșan (right) meeting with Nicholas F. Taubman, the U.S. Ambassador to Romania. Source: Wikpedia – Link in image
Tallest NBA Players in History and Today

The tallest NBA player in a history was Gheorghe Muresan from Romania. He was 7.7" tall and played for Washington Bullets from 1993 to 1997 and for New Jersey Nets from 1998 to 2000. Manute Bol stands at the second place on this list. He was 7.65" tall and played for Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia, and Miami Heat. His NBA career started in 1985 and finished in 1994. He came to the United States from Sudan.  Shawn Bradley is taking the third place on this list. He played for Philadelphia, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks during his NBA career.

Many believe Yao Ming is the tallest basketball player ever, but that statement is not correct. He takes the fourth place on the list and was 7.6" tall. Obviously, Yao Ming was an exceptionally tall basketball player, but he was not the tallest one in the history. Chuck Nevitt from the US was 7.5" and he stands at fifth position on the list of the tallest NBA players in history. He played for Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. He began playing in 1982 and ended up in 1993.

Yao Ming – Image Source: Wikipedia. Link in image

However, some very tall players are still active in NBA. One of them is Boban Marjanovic from Serbia. He is 7.3" tall and is currently considered as the tallest basketball player in the league. Marjanovic is a member of San Antonio Spurs right now. Tibor Pleiss from Germany is also 7.3" and takes the second place on the official list of the tallest active NBA players. He currently plays for Utah Jazz.

Kristaps Porzingis is a third with a height of  7.3" too. He is a basketball player from Latvia and member of New York Knicks. As you can see, the height of currently active players is quite the same one to another, and there are only some minor differences.         

Why Are NBA Players so Tall?

They combine their genetic potential with various exercise they perform every day. Those two things enable their growth. Many of them take various supplements and ingredients as well.

Human Growth Hormone is rumored to be popular among professional basketball players around the world, but of course steroids are forbidden, so no one knows for sure the extent or if at all. Steroids can harm your health, and you will put your organism at risk. Natural ways are the best ones definitely. If you protect your health, your body will have higher chances to grow.

How Tall Do You Have to Be to Be in the NBA?

Let's start with the average NBA player height, which is 6'7. In fact, let's take a look at each position height, since these aspects can directly affect how tall an athlete has to be in order to succeed in the NBA:

Average NBA Position Measurements:

Position Height (w/ out shoes) Height (w/ shoes) Wingspan Total Standing reach
Point Guard 6' 1.1" 6' 2.1" 6' 5.0" 8' 1.2"
Shooting Guard  6' 4.2" 6' 5.4" 6' 8.2" 8' 5.1"
Small Forward 6' 6.5" 6' 7.8" 6' 11.1" 8' 8.8"
Power Forward 6' 7.7" 6' 9.0" 7' 1.0" 8' 11.0"
Center 6' 9.7" 6' 11.0" 7' 2.8" 9' 1.2"


Obviously if you are a back to the basket big man who played the center position your whole life (summer camp, high school, college), but if you are just 6'7 then you likely won't make it in the NBA at that height, since NBA big men are generally 6'10 and higher. As for the guard position, well, technically there is no real minimum, since we know that 5'3 Mugsey Bogues succeeded in the NBA, however he was a rare breed.

Even a recent successful NBA player such as Nate Robinson ended up flaming out of the league by age 30, and he was listed generously at 5'9. Generally speaking, if you are below 6 feet tall, then NBA scouts won't like your height as a good fit to be an NBA player. And of course, the shorter you are, the stronger and more explosive you have to be in getting to the rim and of course dishing passes, playing defense, and knocking down open shots. Otherwise, being below 6 feet tall means you probably won't make it in the NBA. Read more here about how to become an NBA player.

What Foods and Vitamins Can Make You Tall?

The most important vitamins are those essential ones. They support a normal activity of your body protecting overall health at the same time. Those vitamins are even necessary and if you have an appropriate quantity in your body, then your organism has significantly higher chances to function normally.

You should use B1, B2, C, and D vitamin on a regular basis if you want to see the improvement in your height. There is no guarantee that this tactic can succeed, but your body will definitely have higher chances to grow more if you take them regularly. Also, calcium is important for bones. They become stronger if they are adequately supplied with it. So you should use calcium on a regular basis as well.

Food that is rich with proteins is also a great thing when it comes to this matter. They are good for your muscles and support their growth. You should not expect a miracle because genetic and your physical activity plays a key role. But your body cannot work if it is not supplied with necessary supplements and quality food. So you have to pay attention to that factor too.

Conclusion: Basketball, Height, and More

Genetics play the most important role when it comes to height, but scientists have not discovered yet how those genes work. The analyzes are going to continue, and the expert will find out everything about them. The continuous research will help scientists to discover how to increase the height of short people in a natural way. They will probably need more time for this, but it will be a great discovery when they finish. Then, all will be able to become tall as basketball players.

Besides, there are some rumors that militaries of particular countries already experimenting with genes, and they most likely know more on this matter. All of the researches are performed in secret laboratories and they do not want to reveal results yet. The entire project is regarded as a top state secret, but if they have managed to achieve some success in this field, then ordinary scientists have higher chances to make a breakthrough in this field too.

It is a great thing to be tall if you are a basketball player, but excessive height has some disadvantages too. Tall kids are usually unhappy because of their excessive height. If you have been the tallest person in your grade, then you know the feeling. Tall drivers have to have a bigger car if they want to come in easily, and such vehicle costs more.

A tall person needs a bigger and longer bad, otherwise, their legs will come out. They can have a problem with the back too. Tall people more often feel pain in that area. There are some other disadvantages too, but those are the most common.

Professional basketball players usually earn a lot, and their height makes them a fortune. That is why many follow this example.  Hopefully, this article helped you to find out why basketball players are so tall. And if you want to reach a similar height, you should follow the steps above.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Tons of Accessories?

The accessories league, AKA the NBA, has a dress code regulated by the National Basketball Association, and it is mandatory for all the participants within the league. Each sport has similar rules, and this one is not an exemption. The shape of the clothes is the same for all NBA clubs, but some details are always different such as color, for example. The players can also use some helpful additions, and you will find out the real reasons why they use some pieces of clothes.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Tights or Leg Sleeves (What Do NBA Players Wear Under Their Shorts)

You have most likely noticed many times that some professional NBA players wear tights or leg sleeves under the shorts. They have several reasons to do that. Quality tights have the power to support bones and muscles, allowing a player to achieve a maximum while playing basketball. This game is very demanding and serious injuries are quite frequent. The pain can last for a long time and even forever in some cases. However, quality tights or leg sleeves can stop it while the NBA player wears it.

The main reason why NBA basketball players wear tights is because the tights will warm all injured places and the entire legs will become heated. New injuries are less common if your legs are in such condition. A heated muscle is definitely more resistant, and it is a great thing if a basketball player has already had some issues with injuries before. The older players have higher chances to become inured, and they should wear this piece of clothes more often.

Tights are perfect for those who frequently run. They protect ligaments and joints, so they have higher capabilities to work under strong pressure and force. Cold muscles are more vulnerable to different injuries, and NBA players are obligated to warm them up before a game. With leg sleeves or thighs, you can shorten the time of preparing for the game because your legs will be heated by then anyway.

They usually wear them under the shorts because the official NBA regulations demand that from the players. The dress code is regulated by the officials in the association, and it cannot be changed without their official permission. Tights and leg sleeves have supportive effects, and that is why their use is allowed.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Sleeves on Their Arms (Right vs Left, and on Non-Shooting Arms)

Arm sleeves have mostly the same purpose as tights and leg sleeves. They serve to warm muscles and bones preventing sudden injuries that way. Some basketball players are wearing them on both hands, Some just on left, while other on a right hand. It depends on the needs of every particular player. If they have some recent arm injury, then there is a high probability they will wear a sleeve over it when they come to the game field.

That is why some of the players wear it on the opposite hand of the shooting one. The recent or continuous injury is the main problem. The pain will most likely disappear if the muscles are warm and hot. That is very suitable while playing because a player feels better during a basketball game and can achieve more. Some players have had serious arm injuries including open fractures that caused big wounds and were not easy to heal. Such injuries can leave long-term consequences that have to be treated in a proper way. And arm sleeves are there to help them to play better and more interesting basketball.

Some players wear this piece of clothes just on shooting arm to improve its abilities. Warm muscles work better than cold ones. Besides, a non-shooting arm is also important because basketball players use it during a game. They have to fight for the ball, to come under the basket, and perform other different tasks. Both hands are necessary, and they have to function flawlessly well without any pain and other issues. That is why some basketball players wear sleeves on non-shooting arms. To warm them up and tighten the muscles.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Long Sleeves on the Bench During Games?

NBA players wear long sleeves while they are on the bench with an intention to keep their muscles warm all the time. If one of the reserve players should replace some from the first time, they would come into the game instantly. They would not have enough time to prepare for the game, and their muscles would get cold after half an hour of sitting on the bench. If they come in without preparation and with cold muscles, the efficiency might lack, and the chances for injuries grow.

That is the reason why they wear long sleeves because they want to keep the muscles and bones warm and ready for the game. Also, some of them have maybe had injuries and want to avoid pain during a game thanks to the long sleeves. The warm muscles are more resistant and more flexible which allow better performances. If they come into a game with those sleeves, their bones will be tightened and that is another benefit which supports against injuries.

Why Do NBA Players Put Towels on Their Heads

NBA players wear towels on the heads because they want to warm up the entire body. Human's organism consists of different parts, but they are all mutually connected of course. The muscles have a chance to warm up faster if the head is warm. That is the main reason why they put towels while sitting on a bench and watching a game. However, NBA players are just human beings as all other people, and they can use towels for different purposes.

For example, they can put a towel on the head when they come out from the playing field if it is wet due to a highly active game. They can easily clean sweat from the face and head with it, and they can leave it to stay further on their heads. The changes are often in the basketball, so they can use towels for multiple purposes at the same time. They will keep their heads clean and warm which is a great thing during a game.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Hoodies

NBA players are not allowed to wear hoodies during a game. The basket is above heads, and the games are performed in big sports arenas. It means hoodies will only make a confusion and a problem for those who would wear them while playing. There is no Sunlight to interfere with eyes, and a hoodie will block a view toward the basket. However, it only counts during a game, and players can wear any type of clothes and hats in a free time.

Some NBA clubs have specifically designed and created a number of promotional hoodies with their emblems. They give those hats to players and fans who occasionally wear them in different circumstances. If you notice NBA players with those hoodies, now you know how they get them and where they wear them. If a player is injured and cannot participate in the game, they can support their team from the grandstand. NBA players who decide to give such support often wear those hoodies with club's emblems and colors.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Masks?

NBA players wear masks to protect faces from injuries. Basketball is an active game, especially under the basket. The players move fast and fight for the ball. It often leads to sudden injuries that have to be prevented somehow. The nose is one of the most sensitive parts of a human's face, and it is usually at the greatest risk during a game. However, if some accidentally punch another player in a face while this one is wearing the mask, they will not finish injured because the mask will do its job. Otherwise, the nose might end-up broken and that can have various consequences.

Source: Flickr (Link in image)

The injured player will stay out of the game until the injury is rehabilitated. If such an outcome occurs, both the club and the player would lose. That is why some NBA players wear those protective masks during basketball games. Also, some of them have already been injured, and they use a mask to heal faster. The injured place is more sensitive than a healthy part of a body, so there is a higher chance of a new injury.

LeBron was the most recent big time NBA player often wearing those masks. They preferred masks of a black color that covered his forehead and nose. The mouth and lower part of a face stayed unprotected in his case. Those masks can be made in different shapes and designs but most usual ones are just like LeBron's mask.

But generally speaking, an NBA player wears a mask for protection for any face fracture or severe nose or cheekbone bruises. The only cost is losing a few percentage points of peripheral vision, but for the most part, any NBA player wearing a mask will likely play unencumbered, and in some cases, even better than without the mask!

Do NBA Players Wear Cups?

NBA players usually do not wear protective cups, however, there are some exceptions from this rule, of course. It is a personal decision and if a player has been injured, they can wear a cup to protect old wounds. No one can stop them to do this, but some basketball players who have already tried this type of protection complaining it is an unsuitable measure.

In fact, it creates strong pressure in the technical area making an unpleasant feeling. A player who wears it might fail to play successfully because of that, so many avoid using a cup. Besides, there are low chances for injuries in this area, so many believe it is an unnecessary protective measure that makes more damage while offering no benefits. However, it is hard to guess if some player wears this cup or not, and fans can usually find out those details when NBA players speak about them.

Do NBA Players Wear Mouthguards?

Some NBA players wear a mouthguard because of two main reasons. Of course, both are connected to the prevention of potential injuries, but some players have been already injured and want to protect the wound, while others want to avoid being injured for the first time. Mouth and teeth are quite sensitive and during an active game, a basketball player can be suddenly punched in a face area and that might lead to various injuries.

To avoid their teeth being affected by the sudden accident, some players often wear mouthguards during a game. This way of protection is an obligatory measure in some fighting sports, such as MMA or boxing. However, NBA players are free to make a decision themselves. They can wear mouthguards or not depending on their wishes and needs. No one will force them, and no one will stop them from doing that. It is up to them. A mouthguard definitely has a useful purpose and NBA players should consider using it.

Why Do Basketball Players Wear Rubber Bands on Their Knees?

Basketball players wear rubber bands to reduce knee stress. This material has the power to make positive health influence on human's joints, and that is the reason why some players wear it. If they have been injured, they will heal faster with its help, and it is proved in many analyses. Also, rubber bands can support knees during a fall.

They will reduce the pressure and pain if a player falls on their knees, so it is another purpose of rubber bands. Besides, they can warm up knees and surrounding areas supporting their proper work. You know that heated muscles and bones can achieve the maximal results.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Tape on Their Fingers or Ankles

The athletic tapes serve with the same mission. They can support the healing of old injuries, prevent new ones, help with overstretching ligaments and so on. Basketball demands a lot of practice with a ball, and all of them are performed with hands and fingers. When someone spends hours in those activities, injuries become quite possible. And athletic tapes are there to help players avoid such an outcome. 

Conclusion

Those are all ways NBA players use to protect different parts of their bodies and improve their abilities to reach the maximum. Sometimes, a spectator can be confused by some piece of clothes that NBA players wear on themselves, but you know much more about that now, thanks to information from this article.

 

All NBA Sleepy Eyed Team Starting 5

When it comes to NBA action, you want your players to be alert, focused, and even hyper. If an NBA player loses focus even for a split second, they might cough up the ball for a turnover, or miss out on a crucial rebound or defensive play. 

Certain players, no matter how good they are, will always come across as a bit…sleepy looking, or in more proper words: disengaged. Is it fair to label an athlete with sleepy, droopy eyes as disengaged? Probably not. But, we ask you to decide.

Take a look at the roster below of 7 active NBA players all of whom are suffering from acute cases of sleepy-eye-itis. It would be fair to say that at least half of them did not fulfill their potential. And it wouldn't be the craziest hypothesis to say it is because they were sleepy-eyed. Which then forces the question: what came first, the sleepy eyes or the lack of ambition. You be the judge:

  • Point Guard: D'Angelo Russell
  • Shooting Guard: Jeremy Lamb
  • Small Forward: Brandon Ingram
  • Power Forward: Mike Scott
  • Center: Al Faruq Aminu
  • Bench: Tony Snell, Jahlil Okafor
  • Coach: Tracy McGrady
All NBA Sleepy Eyed Team Head Coach T-Mac

Image Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Angelo_Russell#/media/File:D%27Angelo_Russell_Nets_2018.jpg
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/20150329_MCDAAG_closed_practice_Brandon_Ingram_%283%29.JPG
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/20140101_Al-Farouq_Aminu_%281%29.JPG
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Jahlil_Okafor_2015_Summer_League.jpg
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Tony_Snell_11-Jan-14.jpg
  • commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7506402

NBA Foreign Players From Small Countries

Below is a list of countries with some information about the history of basketball in each including the foreign NBA players from each nation to appear in the National Basketball Association:

foreign nba players

Uruguay: Basketball in Uruguay began in 1912. The sport’s popularity grew in the country following two bronze medal finishes by the national team in the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games. Basketball competes with soccer and rugby for popularity as nation’s top sports. Esteban Batista is the only Uruguayan to play in the NBA; he played in 71 games for the Atlanta Hawks from 2005-2007.

US Virgin Islands: There have been three players from the US Virgin Islands to play in the NBA: Raja Bell (12 seasons), Charles Claxton (1), and 5x champion and 2x MVP Tim Duncan (19). The national team has been competing in international tournaments, such as The Pan American Games, FIBA AmeriCup, and Central American Championship, since 1971.

Tunisia: Formed in 1956, the Tunisian Basketball Federation (FTBB) is the governing body of basketball in Tunisia. The FTBB is a member of FIBA and the FIBA Africa zone. The Tunisian national basketball team competed internationally for the first time in the 1957 Pan Arab Games. Salah Mejri of the Dallas Mavericks is the only Tunisian player to ever play in the NBA.

Trinidad and Tobago: Basketball has risen in popularity in the country since the second half of the 20th century. The sport is played at the grassroots, high school, and club levels.

The national team began competing in international tournaments in the 1971 Centrobasket, finishing in 6th place.

Trinidad and Tobago won four straight gold medals in the FIBA CBC Championship from 1986-1990. Carl Herrera and Kenny Charles are the only two players from Trinidad and Tobago to play in the NBA.

 

Philippines: Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines. It is played at both the amateur and professional levels. It was first introduced to the nation early in the 20th century; it was taught by Americans through the YMCA and school systems. Two Filipino-Americans have played in the NBA. The first was Raymond Townsend who played at UCLA in the 1970’s and was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1978. The other is Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, perhaps the most prominent Filipino-American in the NBA is 2x championship coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat.

Tanzania: Basketball is generally learned in schools at a young age in Tanzania. Institutions such as the Tanzania Basketball Federation provide and maintain the country’s basketball infrastructure including the national team and the NBL, Tanzania’s highest professional league. Hasheem Thabeet is the only player from Tanzania to play in the NBA. He was drafted in 2009 by the Memphis Grizzlies after playing collegiately at the University of Connecticut and played in the league for four teams over five seasons.

Switzerland: It is one of the founding members of the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA). The Swiss national team was once a major player on the global stage, though it has declined in prominence in recent decades. Switzerland premiered in international competitions in FIBA EuroBasket 1935. Both of Switzerland’s NBA players are active: Thabo Sefolosha of the Utah Jazz and Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets.

South Korea: South Korea is not known for its production of foreign NBA players. Ha Seung-jin is the only South Korean to play in the NBA. He was the 46th overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Along with baseball, soccer, and rugby, basketball is among the most popular sports in South Korea. The nation’s highest level professional league, the Korean Basketball League (KBL), was founded in 1997 and consists of ten teams. The national team joined FIBA in 1947 and is one of the preeminent teams of FIBA Asia based on the number of overall medals won in international competition which includes a record 24 medals won at the FIBA Asia Championship.

Slovakia: Slovak basketball dates as far back as 1919. The sport’s governing organization is the Slovak Basketball Association which was founded in 1993 and joined FIBA the same year. The highest tier professional basketball league in Slovakia is called Extraliga. The national team has yet to qualify for any Olympic games, world, or European championships. However, the women’s team has had more success, participating in the 2000 Olympics. Richard Petruska is the only Slovak player to play in the NBA, appearing in 22 games for the Houston Rockets during the 1993-94 season.

Romania: Romanian representation in the NBA has consisted of two players: Gheorghe Muresan (6 seasons) and Ernie Grunfeld (9 seasons). The latter, Grunfeld, currently serves as the general manager of the Washington Wizards. Muresan is recognized as the tallest player in NBA history. Founded in 1950 and consisting of 24 teams, the Liga Nationala is the top-tier professional basketball league in Romania. The country joined FIBA in 1932 as one of the organization’s co-founding nations. Romania has participated in Olympic basketball only once, in 1952. Basketball is very popular among Romanian youth.

Israel: Basketball is immensely popular in Israel. Together with soccer, it is one of the nation’s two premier sports. On the club level, Israel has a multi-tiered professional basketball league system. On the international level, Israel competes as a member of FIBA Europe with both their men’s and women’s teams. Outdoor basketball courts are commonplace in parks throughout the country. Many former NBA and NCAA players end up playing in Israel on the club level. Perhaps the most prominent among them is former NBA All-Star Amare Stoudemire who currently plays for Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli Premier League and the Basketball Champions League. Three players have represented Israel on the NBA level: Omri Casspi, Gal Mekel, and TJ Leaf.

Qatar: Basketball has become increasingly popular in Qatar. Established in 1964, the Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) administers basketball in the country. Qatar was admitted into FIBA Asia in 1979. The top domestic professional basketball league is the Qatari Basketball League. A women’s league was established in 2012. Qatar is involved in the bidding process for hosting rights of the 2023 FIBA World Championship. There were two American-Qatari players to play in the NBA: Jarvis Hayes and Trey Johnson.

Norway: Milt Palacio and Torgeir Bryn, who only played in three games, are the only Norwegians to play in the NBA. The Norwegian national basketball team played its first international game in 1966, losing 39-74 to Iceland. Norway is one of Europe’s most populous nations to never qualify for a major international basketball competition.

New Zealand: Basketball was introduced to New Zealand during the first decade of the 20th century. It was initially called “indoor basketball” in order not to be confused with Netball, an English offshoot of basketball played outdoors by females. During World War II, many New Zealanders were shown the sport by American troops. The first national tournament took place in 1938 and the sport became a hit with locals, especially among the youth. Although there is only one professional team, the New Zealand Breakers, which belongs to the Australian professional league, there are numerous semi-pro leagues. There have been three players from New Zealand to play in the NBA: Sean Marks, Kirk Penney, and Steven Adams (currently of the OKC Thunder).

Mali: Only two Malian players have ever played in the NBA: Soumaila Samake and current member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Cheick Diallo. Mali joined FIBA in 1961. The national team has yet to appear in the FIBA World Championship and its best finish at the FIBA Africa Championship came in 1972 when they achieved a bronze medal finish. Soccer remains the country’s most popular sport while basketball remains significantly behind but is gradually growing as the sport’s presence is spreading worldwide.

Macedonia: The Basketball Federation of Macedonia is the governing body of basketball in Macedonia. The Federation was established in 1992, following the breakup of Yugoslavia and joined FIBA in 1993. It organizes the domestic premier league and runs the national team. Soccer is the country’s favorite sport by a large margin, but other popular sports in Macedonia include volleyball, wrestling, as well as basketball. Two players from Macedonia have played in the NBA: Pero Antic and current Cleveland Cavalier, Cedi Osman. Also, Darius Washington Jr. is an American-Macedonian who played 22 games for the San Antonio Spurs during the 2007-08 season.   

Libya: The Libyan Arab Basketball Federation (LBF), an affiliate of FIBA Africa since 1961, is the governing body of men’s and women’s basketball in Libya. According to certain Americans that play professionally in Libya, the style of play is more aggressive and physical than the way the sport in played in most other countries. The national team is currently 157th in the FIBA rankings. Hiram Fuller and Randy Holcomb are the only two players of Libyan descent to play in the NBA. However, each of them only played in four games at the NBA level.

Japan: Basketball has seen a recent revival as far the game’s popularity in Japan. This is due in large part to emergence of two Japanese players, Yuta Tabuse and Yuta Watanabe, both of whom have played in the NBA albeit in a minimal capacity. American-Japanese player, JR Sakuragi (formerly Henderson) also had a short stint in the NBA after being drafted 56th overall in 1998 out of UCLA. The Japan national team has won the FIBA Asia Championship twice and has qualified for the event 25 out of 26 times. Japan hosted the 2006 World FIBA Championship and was announced to co-host the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The primary league in the country is the B.League.

Iran: Iran has a strong national basketball team and are considered among the elite national teams in Asia. Iran cemented their reputation as a top-tier team in Asia when they won the gold medal at the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship, the country’s first continental title. They competed in the Olympics as recently as 2008 in Beijing, qualifying for the tournament due to their Asian championship the previous year. Hamed Haddadi became the first (and only) Iranian NBA player when he debuted for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008.

Iceland: Organized by the Icelandic Basketball Federation and dating back to its inaugural season in 1952, Urvalsdeild karla (Men’s Premier League) is the highest professional basketball competition among clubs in Iceland and the outcome determines the national champion. Iceland joined FIBA in 1959. The Icelandic national team often participates in European tournaments including the Games of the Small States of Europe. Petur Guomundsson is the only Icelandic player to ever play in the NBA. There are currently no NBA prospects from Iceland.

Cuba: Basketball is a popular sport since the Revolution in 1959. However, the height of basketball in Cuba was undoubtedly in the early 1970’s when the country began to make waves competitively on the international level. The national team followed its third place finish in the 1970 University Games by defeating the American team at the 1971 Pan American Games and then taking home the bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics. At the time, basketball was the number two sport in Cuba, only trailing baseball in popularity. Since then, basketball has waned in popularity in Cuba as their competitiveness internationally steadily decreased. Andres Guibert and Lazaro Borrell are the only two Cuban players to make it to the NBA. However, both had very limited stints in the league, playing 22 and 17 games respectively.   

Belgium: Xavier Henry, DJ Mbenga, and current Knicks’ point guard Frank Ntilikina are the only players of Belgian descent to play in the NBA. Founded in 1928 and consisting of 10 teams, the Pro Basketball League (aka EuroMillions Basketball League) is the highest tier level basketball league in Belgium.

Austria: Jakob Poltl of the San Antonio Spurs is the only NBA player ever of from Austria. Austria is currently ranked 55 in the FIBA rankings despite basketball being far less popular in the country than traditional winter sports and having not qualified for FIBA EuroBasket since 1971. Founded in 1947 and consisting 9 teams, the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga is the highest tier domestic professional basketball league in the country.

Montenegro: For a country with less than a million residents, Montenegro is proportionately very well represented in the NBA. Former NBA players with Montenegrin descent include Zarko Cabarkapa, Omar Cook, Quincy Douby, Predrag Drobnjak, Slavko Vranes, and Nikola Pekovic. There are also two current Montenegrin NBA players: Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic and Nikola Mirotic of the New Orleans Pelicans. Internationally, Montenegro has been fairly successful since 2010 including a first place finish in the 2015 Games of the Small States of Europe as well as qualifying for FIBA EuroBasket in 2011, 2013, and 2017.

Hungary: Kornel David is the lone Hungarian player to reach the NBA. He participated in 109 games in his NBA career, starting 11 of them. The Hungarian national team had its greatest success from the 1940s to the 1960s, winning numerous medals on the global level and qualifying for the Summer Olympics four times in that span. With recent international success following a long draught, Hungary may be poised to produce some NBA prospects in the coming years and perhaps even the country’s second NBA player.

Guyana: The national team has had fairly impressive international success for a country with limited basketball resources including several medals at the FIBA CDC Championship and winning the silver medal at the 1994 Caribbean Basketball Championship. The only two Guyanese NBA players both had very limited stints in the league with one player, Jason Oliver Miskiri, playing in just a single NBA game and the other, Rawle Junior Kalomo Marshall, playing in 63 games over two seasons. There are two domestic professional leagues in Guyana: LABA DIV 1 and GABA DIV 1.

Ghana: The only NBA player from Ghana in league history is Benjamin Bentil. Bentil was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2016 but was later waived. He played in just three regular season games in his career for the Dallas Mavericks. His final landing spot in the NBA was for the San Antonio Spurs’ summer league team in 2017. The next Ghanaian NBA player might not surface for a while considering that Ghana is Africa’s most populous nation to never qualify for a major international basketball tournament.

Gabon: Yann Stephane Lasme is the lone NBA player from Gabon to make it to the league. His NBA career was very short lived however, playing in just 16 games during the 2007-08 season for the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. The Gabon national has had limited success in international competition with an 8th place finish at AfroBasket 2015 being the nation’s best placement ever.

Finland: Two Finnish players and one American-Finnish player have made the NBA. The best among them is up-and-coming star Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls. Finnish born Hanno Aleksanteri Mottola was first player from Finland to play in the NBA and Erik Murphy, an American-Finnish player, was drafted 49th overall in 2013 by the Bulls out of the University of Florida but unfortunately never played a regular season game in the NBA. Murphy has represented Finland internationally as a member of the national team since 2014. Finland joined FIBA in 1939 and is currently 21st in the FIBA rankings.

Estonia: Martin Muursepp is the only Estonian player in NBA history. Estonia originally joined FIBA in 1939 before eventually leaving the organization only to rejoin FIBA in 1991. The Estonian national team currently stands at 47th in the world according to the FIBA rankings. The country first competed internationally at the 1936 summer Olympics. Their best finish is 5th place in EuroBasket in five appearances. Especially of late, Estonia has not produced much NBA talent and there is little evidence we will see the second Estonian NBA player anytime soon.

Egypt: Joining FIBA in 1934, Egypt has had plenty of international success including a record 17 medals won in FIBA Africa Championships and winning the 1949 EuroBasket title. Egypt has produced two NBA players: Abdel Nader and Alaa Abdelnaby. The governing body of the sport of basketball in Egypt is the Egyptian Basketball Federation.

Dominica: Despite playing a grand total of four games in the league, Garth Joseph remains the only NBA player ever from Dominica. The country joined FIBA in 1976 and currently stands at 160th in the FIBA rankings. The best result of the national basketball team in international competition was a 6th place finish at the 2000 Caribbean Championship. The national federation that oversees basketball in the country is the Dominica Amateur Basketball Association.

Democratic Republic of Congo: The Congo hasn’t produced many foreign NBA players but the few they have were either successful in the league, such as the nation’s most prominent basketball export- DPOY and All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, or have shown promise. The three other Congolese NBA players are Bismack Biyombo of the Charlotte Hornets, Emmanuel Mudiay of the New York Knicks, and former 2009 first round draft pick Christian Eyenga. The national has not been quite as successful. DR Congo has yet to qualify for the FIBA World Championship despite joining FIBA in 1963. Its biggest success internationally was a final four placement at the 1975 FIBA Africa Championship when they competed as Zaire. DR Congo is currently 84th in the FIBA rankings.

Czech Republic: An impressive number of players from the Czech Republic have made the NBA considering it is a small and young country with a limited basketball presence. The country only began to compete on the international level following the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Their best result to date is a seventh place finish at EuroBasket 2015. Despite a limited basketball history, the Czech Republic has produced four foreign NBA players including Washington Wizards’ guard Tomas Satoransky, former 6th overall draft pick Jan Vesely, Jiri Welsch, and George Zidek.

Cape Verde: There 60 professional basketball clubs in Cape Verde as of 2018. The 60 teams are spread across eleven divisions on nine islands. Two of the islands, Santiago and Santo Antao, have consisted of two zones or divisions since the early 2000s. The basketball association’s governing is known as Capeverdean Basketball Federation or FCBB. The FCBB was founded in 1986 and became affiliated with FIBA in 1988. The national team’s greatest accomplishment to date is earning the bronze medal at AfroBasket 2007. Walter Tavares remains the only Cape Verdean to play in the NBA.

Cameroon: Basketball in Cameroon has rapidly increased in popularity- closing the gap with soccer as the nation’s favorite sport- since the mid-2000s. The upward trend is partly due to the recent success of the national team as well as particular Cameroonian players. Cameroon has turned into a legitimate force in international competition both in Africa and globally. Cameroon has the most current foreign NBA players of any country in Africa with three. Since their silver medal finish at the 2007 FIBA Africa Championship, Cameroon has become a consistent contender for the African basketball crown. Four Cameroonian players have played in the NBA: Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Luc RIchard Mbah a Moute, Pascal Siakam, and All-Star center Joel Embiid. It would not be a stretch to assume that we will see more players from Cameroon in the league in the coming years.

Bulgaria: There have been just two Bulgarian players to be selected in the annual NBA draft, but only one to play in a regular season NBA game. Priest Lauderdale played briefly for the Denver Nuggets before returning to play professionally in Bulgaria. Aleksandar Vezenkov was a second round selection in 2017 by the Brooklyn Nets but has yet to make his NBA debut. Vezenkov is currently a member of the Bulgarian national team. Bulgaria’s best performances in international play came back in the 1950’s. Bulgaria won the Balkan Championship in 1950 and finished as runners-up at the 1957 EuroBasket Championship.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: In recent years Bosnia and Herzegovina has become a prolific source of NBA talent. The nation has already produced five foreign NBA players, including one currently active player, and more are expected to follow with at least ten current potential NBA prospects and counting. The current Bosnian player in the NBA is Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers. Mirza Teletovic captained the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team and has played in the NBA as recently as the 2017-18 season. The national team regularly qualifies for EuroBasket and currently is 42nd in the FIBA rankings despite only competing internationally (and being an independent nation) for 25 years.

Belize: Basketball in Belize is governed by the Belize Basketball Federation (BBF). The highest level of competitive basketball in Belize is semi-professional with the most prominent of these leagues being the Belize Basketball Association (BBA). There is a basketball in every neighborhood and children can often be seen practicing on them. Basketball is played at the junior, senior amateur, high, and primary school levels. In addition, there are often tournaments held for little kids as well as over-35 tournaments for retired players. Belize has held regional championships in the Caribbean (1998) and Central America (2001) but has never qualified for the Olympics. Despite limited international prominence in the sport, a number of players of Belizean descent have played in both the NBA and NCAA.

Belarus: The Belarusian Premier League is the highest professional basketball league in Belarus. The league was established in 1992 and consists of ten teams. Belarus is Europe’s most populous nation to never qualify for a major international basketball competition. There has only been one player of Belarusian heritage to play in the NBA. Maalik Benjamin Wayns, a naturalized Belarusian born in America, played in a limited capacity for multiple teams from 2012-2014.

The Bahamas: There have been four Bahamian players to play in the NBA including 2x champion with the LA Lakers of the 1980’s Mychal Thompson (father of current Warriors Guard Klay Thompson) and current Sacramento Kings Guard and former top ten pick Buddy Hield. The Bahamas joined FIBA in 1962 and are currently slotted at 58th in the FIBA rankings. The Bahamas won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA CBC Championship.

Antigua and Barbuda: The nation joined FIBA in 1976 and is currently ranked 75th according to FIBA rankings. The national team has made eight appearances in the Caribbean Championship, earning a bronze medal finish three times. The only representative to play in the NBA is Julius Hodge. Hodge, though born in Harlem, NY, has lived in Antigua for most of his life. Hodge played college basketball at North Carolina State where he had a very successful four years that including individual accolades such as ACC POY and being named an All-American. His collegiate success led to him being the 20th overall selection in the 2005 NBA draft. Unfortunately, his NBA career did not match his collegiate one. His time in the league was short-lived, lasting only until 2007, and was marred by constant trades until he finally left to play professionally in Italy.

Nigeria: Nigeria was introduced to the sport of basketball in the 1950’s by a man named Wallad Zabadne who taught youngsters the game on the country’s only court at the time. He would go on to spread the game throughout the nation, making basketball mainstream in Nigeria. The Nigerian national team joined FIBA in 1964. Nigeria’s current FIBA ranking is 32nd worldwide. Beginning in 1994 when two Nigerian players debuted in the NBA until today a total of 16 players of Nigerian descent have played in the NBA. At this rate, there is good reason to expect more to follow in the future.

Lithuania: Lithuania is a nation with a passion and devotion for basketball. It is arguably ahead of soccer as the country’s favorite sport. It is this devotion that allows the Lithuanian national team to be a European basketball powerhouse despite its relatively small population of roughly 2.8 million citizens. Lithuania became one of the earliest members of FIBA when it joined the federation in 1936. Today, according to the FIBA rankings, the Lithuanian national basketball team is the 6th best in the world. With its basketball prowess as a country, it comes as no surprise that 10 Lithuanian nationals have played in the NBA including four current players.

Italy: At least nine Italian nationals have played in NBA including current Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, former number one overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani, and current players Marco Belinelli of the SA Spurs and Danilo Gallinari of the LA Clippers. Domestically, the professional basketball system in Italy is a series of interconnected competitions for pro clubs. The system or pyramid consists of nine tiers with a hierarchical format including promotion and demotion system based on performance. The top tier of professional basketball in Italy is Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). Italy was co-founding nation of FIBA and joined at its inception in 1932. Italy currently ranks 14th in the world according to FIBA. The national team has achieved much success in international competitions including two Olympic silver medals (12 appearances), 10 medals (2 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze) won in 37 appearances in EuroBasket, and 8 appearances in the FIBA World Cup.   

 

Basketball is a global sport and it's an incredible thing that so many foreign countries are involved. UNICEF, which helps children worldwide, has a partnership with the NBA, and all major sports, and is heavily involved in charitable causes geared toward getting children to take up sports (and basketball) worldwide.

Uruguay NBA Players

Uruguay is a South American country that is more famous for its soccer team than its basketball team. However, what many people fail to notice is that even their basketball national team was once a force to be reckoned with. 

Their golden days were in the 50's. They won bronze medals in 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympic Games. They also won in 2007 Pan American Games beating the South American basketball superpower Argentina.

Uruguay NBA Players:

Esteban Batista

Batista is born September 2, 1983, and he is the first basketball player from Uruguay that has played in the NBA. In 2001, he started his career as a professional basketball player in Uruguay's National League. Two years later he went to play in the Spanish LEB league.

He signed his first NBA contract as a free agent on September 12, 2005, with the Atlanta Hawks. He played his first minutes on November 2, the same year. His last NBA team was Boston Celtics. On October 16, 2007, the Celtics waived his contract.

After his NBA career ended, he played for various teams from Europe and spent one season in China with the Beikong Fly Dragons. Since 2017 he is back in Uruguay where he signed with Club Atletico Welcome.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Uruguay, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Uruguay.

NBA Players from United States Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Island basketball tradition is one of the longest in the region. Their national basketball team competes in the Pan American games, FIBA Americas, and the Central American Championship. They had their best years in 2006 and 2008 when they finished 2nd at the Central American Championship Basketball Tournament.

United States Virgin Islands NBA Players:

Raja Bell

Bell was born on September 9th, 1975 in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He stands at 6’ 5” and throughout his NBA career, he played as a shooting guard. He had a long NBA career that span over twelve seasons. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Dallas Mavericks. Bell was twice part of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Currently, he has taken over the role of a director of player administration with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Charles Claxton Jr.

Claxton was born December 13, 1970, in St. Thomas. He played college basketball for the University of Georgia before being part of the 1994 NBA draft when he was selected as the 50th pick by the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for him, he played only on three games (1995-1996 season). He also had two short contracts with two different NBA teams. The first one was with the Cleveland Cavaliers during October 1995 and the second one was with Utah Jazz during October 1996. He didn’t get any playtime with any of them.

David Vanterpool

Vanterpool was born March 31, 1973, in Daytona Beach Florida. He is 6’ 5” tall and played as small forward/shooting guard. He started his professional basketball career in Italy and moved to China before returning to the States and signing his first NBA contract. He first signed with the Washington Wizards (2000-2001 season). He played a total of 22 games for the Wizards. He also signed with the Detroit Pistons and the New Jersey Nets but didn't get a chance to play. He had more luck with the European teams. In 2006 he was part of the CSKA roster that won the Euro league title.

Tim Duncan is also from the US Virgin Islands but considers himself American as he played for the US Olympic team.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from United States Virgin Islands, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from United States Virgin Islands.

NBA Players from Tunisia

The Tunisian National Basketball Team, or The Eagles Of Cartagena as they are known, had their share of success throughout the years. In 2011, they became the African Basketball Champion with Salah Mejri voted as the MVP of the championship. What's impressive about that win is that they were the first North African country to won a gold medal in almost thirty years. There is only one player from Tunisia that played in the NBA. Salah Mejri is a name that is familiar to every Tunisian basketball fan.

Tunisia NBA Players:

Salah Mejri

Salah Mejri was born in 1986, standing at 7ft. 2in. played as a center for the Dallas Mavericks. He had his debut as a professional basketball player in the Tunisian Basketball team at the age of 20 for the team of Étoile Sportive du Sahel. He moved in Europe in 2010, signing for the Antwerp Giants in the Belgium League. In Europe, he also played in the Spanish League for the teams of Obradoiro and Real Madrid, before going in the NBA and signing for the Dallas Mavericks in 2015. On June 27, 2018, Mejri got a qualifying offer from the Dallas Mavericks.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Tunisia, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Tunisia.

NBA Players from Trinidad and Tobago

Ken Charles is a former NBA player from Trinidad and Tobago. He played in the NBA and in the Trinidad and Tobago national basketball team, which is one of the best in the CBC championship. The CBC is a competition that is run by FIBA and in which teams from the Caribbean participate. Their best years were from 1986 to 1990 when they won four gold medals in a row. Totally they have six gold medals, making them the second most successful Caribbean nation. The Bahamas have one more than them, seven.

Trinidad and Tobago NBA Players:

Ken Charles

Kenneth M. Charles was born July 10, 1951, in Port of Spain, San Fernando (Trinidad and Tobago). He stood at 6" 3' and played as a guard throughout his career. Before NBA he played for the Brooklyn Preparatory School (Brooklyn, New York) and college basketball for Fordham University. During the 1973 NBA draft, he was selected as the overall 38th pick by the Buffalo Braves where he stayed for three seasons (1973 to 1975). He also played for Atlanta Hawks from 1976 to 1978. In the five season he spent in the NBA he played a total of 322 games in which he had an average of 8.5 points and 2.5 assists per game.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Trinidad and Tobago, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Trinidad and Tobago.

NBA Players from the Philippines

The Philippines national team is one of the best ones outside the Americas and Europe. They have the medals to prove that. They won the bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championship and had the most wins on the Olympic Games outside Europe, Oceania, and America.

Aside from the bronze medal and seven appearances at the Olympic Games, they have eight SEABA championships, five FIBA Asia Cups, and apart from that Southeast Asian Games Men's Basketball gold medals. By any standards, they are a real basketball powerhouse in that part of the world.

Philippines NBA Players

Raymond Townsend

Townsend was born December 20, 1955, in San Jose, California. Standing at 6 ft. 3 in. and primarily played as a point guard, he was the first Filipino-American that played in the NBA. He was picked as 22nd by Washington Warriors at the 1978 NBA draft. Spent three seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers and the Golden State Warriors. Prior to NBA, he played college basketball as a member of the UCLA Bruins.

Andray Maurice Blatche

Andray was born on August 22, 1986, in Syracuse, New York. This American Filipino stands 6 ft. 11 and played as Center/power forward. He joined the NBA through the second round of the 2005 Draft. He played for the Washington Wizard (2005-2012) and the Brooklyn Nets (2012-2014). In 2014 he moved from NBA to the Chinese Basketball League where he signed for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. He stayed with them for four years.  

Andray received a Philippines citizenship in June 2014. That way he could join their national basketball team.

Jordan Clarkson

Clarkson was born June 7, 1992, in Tampa Florida. This 6 ft. 5 in. point guard entered the NBA through the 2014 NBA Draft. He was picked in the second round by Washington Wizards. However, he was immediately traded to the Lakers. He spent four years with the Los Angeles Lakers before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018. During his rookie season, he spent some time playing for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA development league.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Philippines, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Philippines.

NBA Players from Tanzania

The Tanzania National Basketball Team is considered to be one of the most modest ones on the African continent. They qualified only once for the FIBA Africa Championship, more than four decades ago in 1974 when they finished as eighth. They haven’t ever qualified for a FIBA world cup championship or summer Olympics. Hasheem Thabeet is a former NBA player currently playing as a center 7 ft. 3 in. (2.21 m) for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the Japanese B basketball league and the Tanzanian national basketball team.

Tanzania NBA Players

Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem did not play basketball until the age of fifteen when he started with pick-up games in his hometown of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. When basketball scouts found him, he spoke Swahili and only some English. His first stop on his way to the NBA was in Houston Texas, with the Cypress Christian School where he graduated in 2006. The next three years he played college basketball for the Connecticut Huskies. There he was twice awarded the NABC defensive player of the year (‘08 and ‘09), All American and Big East co-player of the year in 2009.

The Memphis Grizzlies choose Thabeet as second on the 2009 NBA draft. That made him the first Tanzanian born basketball player to play in the NBA. His NBA career lasted from 2009 to 2014 and aside from the Grizzlies (2009 to 2011) he also played for Houston Rockets (2011-2012), Portland Trail Blazers (2012), and Oklahoma City Thunder (2012-2014). During that period he was often sent to the NBA Development League.

Thabeet will go down as an all time bust in the NBA. As a number two pick, he was expected to become the next Dikembe Mutombo but instead became an unreliable and unproductive player who could not man the paint the way an NBA center is expected to.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Tanzania, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Tanzania.

NBA Players from Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the few countries with the longest basketball tradition and at the same time a founding member of FIBA. Once a powerhouse in basketball, nowadays it's just a shadow of those times. Their most significant basketball success happened in 1935 when they finished at the 4th place at the Eurobasket. The next year they even qualified for the Olympics where they finished 9th. For their next big tournament, they had to wait for 1948 to come when they were also at Olympics. However, they haven’t qualified for Eurobasket for more than half a century, since 1955.  

Switzerland/Swiss NBA Players:

Clint Capela

Capela was born May 18th, 1944 in Geneva. He played on the center position, standing at 6 ft. 11. On the 2014 NBA Draft, he was selected as the 25th overall pick by the Houston Rockets. He also spent much of his first season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA G League. In the following season, he became a standard member of the Rockets roster, featuring several impressive parties. He was the only Rocket’s player that managed to make 25 rebounds and 23 points in one game since the legendary center Hakeem Olajuwon.   

Capella recently signed a 5 year $90 million contract with the Rockets, and his emergence as a legitimate third star alongside James Harden and Chris Paul (sorry Carmelo but you suck!) will be a crucial ingredient for the Rockets to continue their emergence as the one contender to unseat the Warriors.

Thabo Sefolosha

Thabo was born May 2nd, 1984 in the small Swiss city of Vevey. Before signing up for the 2006 NBA draft, he played as a professional for almost eight seasons in the top leagues of Swiss, France, and Italy. On the NBA draft, he was selected as the 15th pick by the Philadelphia Sixers that sent him to Chicago Bulls for another pick. After three years with the Bulls, in 2009 he was once again part of a trade that landed him in Oklahoma.

During the lockout in 2011, he went and played for Fenerbahce. His deal was only for Europa League matches after which he returned with the Thunders. From 2014 to 2017 he played for Atlanta. After Atlanta, he signed a multi-year contract with Utah Jazz. Thabo was also involved in a lawsuit against the NYPD after he was arrested approximately two years ago.

Right now there are no immediate, additional Swiss NBA players expected to come from Switzerland, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Switzerland.

South Korea NBA Players

South Korea may be one of the best Asian basketball teams, but they have only one player that has ever played in the NBA. Ha Seung-jin played in the NBA as a center for two years and is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players from Korea.

Korea’s National basketball team has won a total of 24 medals at the championships organized by FIBA Asia, two of which are golden (1969 and 1997). Furthermore, they are the only national team that always managed to qualify for this event, starting from the year when it was held for the first time in 1960.

NBA Players from South Korea

Ha Seung-jin

Seung-jin was born in Seoul on August 4, 1985. He signed up for the NBA draft in 2004 where he was selected in the second round (46th) by the Portland Trail Blazers. Standing at 7 ft. 3 in. (2.21 m) and weighing 305 lb., he was one of the biggest centers in the league. He spent two years with the Trail Blazers (2004-2006) and was often sent to the NBA development league with teams such as the Fort Worth Flyers and Anaheim Arsenal.  

Prior to his NBA career, he played for his high school team (Samil Commercial School) and in college for Yonsei University, in his hometown Seoul. He currently plays for the Jeonju KCC Egis and the Korean national team.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from South Korea, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from South Korea.

Slovakia NBA Players

Slovakia's basketball history is not a glorious one and with almost nothing to show. Their all-time best player Richard Petruška is the only one that played in the NBA. The Slovakia National Basketball Team came to be in 1993 with the dissolution of the once unified state of Czechoslovakia. They have never qualified for a major competition such as Eurobasket or FIBA world cup.

NBA Players from Slovakia

Richard Petruška

Petruška was born on January 25th, 1969 in a small town called Levice, Czechoslovakia. He stands at 6' 10", and during his best years, he weighed some 260 lbs. He covered two positions: the center and the power forward position.

Before signing up for the NBA draft, he played college basketball at UCLA and Loyola Marymount. He was picked as 46th overall at the 1993 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. However, his NBA career was short lived as he spent only one season with the Rockets before returning to Europe where he played for clubs from Italy, Turkey, and Spain. Fortunately for him, during that one year the Rockets won the NBA championship, so he too became a champion even though he played only in 22 games and scored exactly 53 points. After his retirement, he got his professional coach license and pursued as a career as a head coach.

Right now there are no immediate, additional NBA players expected to come from Slovakia, but hopefully in the future we will see some blue chip NCAA or NBA prospects coming from Slovakia.