NBA Draft Statistics Show League Continues to Grow Internationally

The NBA has spent the majority of the 21st century looking to globalize the sport through international games, camps, and their Global Academy. Nations like Canada, France, Spain, and Australia are just a few that have made their imprint on the league over the past few decades and will continue to through future generations. We take a look at this year’s draft class which shows that the league has players from all over the world ready to be the future of the sport.

Seven international players from five different countries who did not attend a U.S. college are likely to be selected in this year’s NBA Draft:

  • Hugo Besson (France)
  • Dyson Daniels (Australia)
  • Ousmane Dieng (France)
  • Khalifa Diop (Senegal)
  • Nikola Jović (Serbia)
  • Ismael Kamagate (France)
  • Jean Montero (Dominican Republic)

The participation of these foreign prospects means there will be four continents represented in this year’s draft. They will look to follow in the footsteps of former foreign greats the league has seen such as Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Canada has been the most popular among foreign countries on NBA rosters with 18 Canadian players on opening-night rosters to kick off last season. Two more projected lottery picks this year in  Shaedon Sharpe and Bennedict Mathurin will look to add to that tally in 2022-23.

You don’t have to look far in today’s game to see the impact that foreign players are having on the league. Four of the top five players in MVP voting this past season were born outside of the U.S. with three of them not attending a U.S. college. Basketball is continuing to globalize and it feels inevitable that we will see this year’s class produce a star or two from outside of American borders.

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