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Andy Wittry | | February 17, 2022

We mapped the hometown for every current DI men's basketball player. Here's what we learned

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One-hundred and one of the 5,510 Division I men's college basketball players who are listed on the roster of one of the 358 schools that compete at the sport's highest division are from one of the five boroughs of New York City, which means roughly 1.8 percent of the players in the sport are from the U.S.' largest city, according to an analysis by I pored over every roster in the country, analyzing the listed hometown — the city, state and country — of each player, to see where DI men's basketball players come from and what we can learn from their hometowns.

Basketball is truly an international sport and that can be seen by two of the best men's basketball players in the country this season — Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe and Illinois' Kofi Cockburn — were each born abroad, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Jamaica, respectively. Arizona, which has spent two months ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll, has a roster in which its top six scorers were born outside the U.S.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from my analysis:

  • Just over 85 percent of DI men's basketball players have a listed hometown in one of the 50 U.S. states, plus Washington D.C., which means DI teams have an average of nearly 2.3 international players per school.
  • There are multiple players from every state in the U.S., with just three from each of Maine and Vermont. However, none of the players on the University of Maine's roster are from The Pine Tree State, while two of the three players from Vermont play for the Catamounts.
  • Canada is the foreign country which the most players are from, with 146 players, ahead of Australia (66 players) and Nigeria (42).

Below is a world map with the hometown of every current DI men's basketball player. Click here to view interactive version of the map, where you can search by city.

These cities have produced the most DI players

Here's a breakdown of the 10 cities that produced the highest number of current DI men's basketball players:

City Count
New York, NY 101
Chicago, IL 87
Houston, TX 87
Philadelphia, PA 52
Atlanta, GA 51
Charlotte, NC 47
Dallas, TX 42
Los Angeles, CA 41
Memphis, TN 40
Baltimore, MD 40

It shouldn't be a surprise that these cities produce a high number of elite basketball players. Each of the cities ranks among the top 40 in the U.S. in terms of population and nine of the 10 cities listed above, with the exception of Baltimore, is home to at least one NBA franchise.

The borough of Brooklyn alone produced as many current men's basketball players, 41, as Los Angeles, which is the country's second-most populous city.

Here's a closer look at the top talent-producing cities in the U.S., with heat maps for the the U.S. cities and states that have produced the most current DI men's basketball players. Click here to view an interactive version of the map.

These states have produced the most DI players

Here's a breakdown of the 10 states that produced the highest number of current DI men's basketball players:

State Count
California 386
Texas 379
New York 266
Georgia 254
Florida 250
North Carolina 248
Illinois 215
Maryland 197
Pennsylvania 169
New Jersey 168

There's significant, but not complete, overlap between the 10 most populous states and the 10 states that have produced the most current DI men's basketball players. Ohio and Michigan are both in the top 10 in the former, but rank 11th and tied for 16th, respectively, in the latter. New Jersey (11th in population) and Maryland (19th) each rank slightly higher in the number of DI men's basketball players they produce compared to their respective overall population.

These cities are the top international producers of men's basketball players

Here are the top 10 international cities that produced the highest numbers of DI men's basketball players:

City Count
Toronto, Canada 27
Montreal, Canada 23
Melbourne, Australia 21
Bamako, Mali 19
London, England 17
Lagos, Nigeria 16
Dakar, Senegal 15
Belgrade, Serbia 14
Sydney, Australia 14
Paris, France 12

Those 10 cities are located in different countries on four different continents.

Here are the top 10 foreign countries that have produced the highest number of DI men's basketball players:

Country Count
Canada 146
Australia 66
Nigeria 42
United Kingdom 36
Serbia 25
Netherlands 24
France 23
Senegal 23
Mali 22
New Zealand 17

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