National Basketball Association (NBA) players are classified as those born in the U.S. and players born outside of the United States, also known as international players. Players from overseas territories are as well classed international.
The NBA is a premier men’s professional basketball league in North America. The league comprises 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the top professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
The NBA is a diverse league featuring players from many backgrounds and nationalities. Most players are from the U.S., and within the U.S., there are 50 states or more if you include territories. NBA players come from all over the country: some are born in cities and others in small towns.
California produces 52 NBA players, which is more than any other state. Furthermore, 18 Californians are active on WNBA rosters, more than any other state. But when population size is taken into consideration, California ranks 20th.
Columbia has more NBA players per capita than any state in the U.S. Though it's not yet officially considered a state, debates are ongoing, and it seems inevitable. Other states that produce the most NBA players per capita include: DC, Delaware, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas.
In the NBA rankings below, tie-breakers go to the state with the least overall population.
NBA players born outside of the U.S. are often known as international players. Players born in U.S. overseas territories, like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are considered international players even though they are U.S. citizens.
In some borderline scenarios, the NBA considers whether a player wants to be identified as international or not.
As of the 2021–22 season, Canada produced 57 NBA players—the most foreign NBA players. The list below shows how other foreign countries fared in NBA players by country.
# of NBA Players
|Republic of the Congo||1|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1|
Most NBA players come from the United States. Canada comes in second place, contributing 57 players to the NBA.