A U.S. State Expansion On…Where Are NBA Players From? | Truth About It.net

A U.S. State Expansion On…Where Are NBA Players From?

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Updated: November 30, 2007

Very cool stuff by Jason Gurney of BallHype….using Basketball-Reference.com, Yahoo and Google Maps, he was able to plot the birthplace of every NBA player.

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop was shocked that the distribution of players, team by team, was heavily concentrated east of the Mississippi River.

But as Jason points out, this kinda makes sense when you factor in the US population density.

But it got me thinking, what US States are the best at producing basketball talent? I crunched some numbers to see how states would rank in NBA players per capita. I had a theory/feeling that Mississippi would rank highly. Spending time there in my life, I’ve been fully aware of the talent Mississippi has produced…especially those players such as Jonathan Bender, Monta Ellis and Travis Outlaw who had committed to Mississippi State University but spurned the Bulldogs for the NBA Draft….pre-1-year rule.

Currently, there are 10 players that Jason has listed from Mississippi:

  1. Ronald Dupree
  2. Al Jefferson
  3. Antonio McDyess
  4. Lindsey Hunter
  5. Mo Williams
  6. Erick Dampier
  7. Monta Ellis
  8. Othella Harrington
  9. Travis Outlaw
  10. Earl Barron

And remember Jonathan Bender‘s career unfortunately ended early in 2006 due to chronic knee pain. Also remember that he was the one who broke Michael Jordan’s scoring record in the McDonald’s All-American game, scoring 31 in 1999. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.

In my opinion, the greatest player to ever come out of Mississippi was Chris Jackson AKA Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. He was from Gulport, MS, but went to Louisiana State University. When I was 8-9 years old, my dad and I had season tickets to LSU Basketball…and yes, those teams included Shaq O’Neal and Stanley Roberts.

Jackson’s NBA career could be considered rather tragic. The tourettes syndrome he had to deal with in his life was both part of the reason he was such a great basketball player (legend had it that he could not leave his backyard court unless he made 500 straight free-throws, or something like that), and perhaps the reason for his downfall (the medication affected his game, but if he didn’t take it, he would twitch uncontrollably). But Chris Jackson’s story is for another time, another place, and another blog post.

On to today’s numbers (and I’m hoping that I got all of them correctly from Jason’s work) — DC is first in per capita, or fewest residents per NBA player produced. But I live in DC, and the last time I checked, it was not a state (but they sure like to make us pay those Federal taxes) .

The first state? None other than Mississippi. Food for thought.

State
Population
NBA
Residents Per NBA Player
DC
581,530
3
193,843
Mississippi
2,910,540
10
291,054
Louisiana
4,468,976
12
372,415
Illinois
12,831,970
33
388,848
Delaware
783,600
2
391,800
Iowa
2,926,324
6
487,721
Wyoming
493,782
1
493,782
South Carolina
4,012,012
8
501,502
Oregon
3,421,399
6
570,233
West Virginia
1,808,344
3
602,781
Tennessee
5,689,283
9
632,143
Washington
5,894,121
9
654,902
North Carolina
8,049,313
12
670,776
Georgia
8,186,453
12
682,204
Wisconsin
5,556,506
8
694,563
Colorado
4,301,261
6
716,877
New Jersey
8,724,560
12
727,047
Alabama
4,447,100
6
741,183
South Dakota
754,844
1
754,844
New York
18,976,457
25
759,058
Indiana
6,080,485
8
760,061
California
33,871,648
44
769,810
Maryland
5,600,388
7
800,055
Nevada
2,495,529
3
831,843
Texas
20,851,820
25
834,073
Florida
15,982,378
19
841,178
Pennsylvania
12,281,054
14
877,218
Arkansas
2,673,400
3
891,133
Kansas
2,688,418
3
896,139
Michigan
9,938,444
11
903,495
Ohio
11,353,140
11
1,032,104
Utah
2,233,169
2
1,116,585
New Hampshire
1,235,786
1
1,235,786
Idaho
1,293,953
1
1,293,953
Kentucky
4,173,405
3
1,391,135
Missouri
5,817,211
4
1,454,303
Minnesota
4,919,479
3
1,639,826
Connecticut
3,405,565
2
1,702,783
Virginia
7,078,515
4
1,769,629
Oklahoma
3,579,212
2
1,789,606
Massachusetts
6,349,097
2
3,174,549
Vermont
608,827
0
N/A
Alaska
626,932
0
N/A
North Dakota
642,200
0
N/A
Montana
997,195
0
N/A
Rhode Island
1,048,319
0
N/A
Hawaii
1,211,537
0
N/A
Maine
1,274,923
0
N/A
Nebraska
1,711,263
0
N/A
New Mexico
1,928,384
0
N/A
Arizona
5,130,632
0
N/A

6 Comments

  1. Jason

    December 1, 2007 at 4:23 am

    Nice work–this is interesting stuff. Other Mississippi notables include Danny Manning, Slick Watts, and Spencer Haywood.

  2. truthaboutit

    December 1, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    To switch sports, some of the greatest, if not THE greatest NFL skill position players of all-time were from Mississippi.

    Brett Favre – QB – The Kiln, MS

    Steve Mcnair – QB Mount Olive, MS
    (maybe not an NFL great, but was the league MVP in ’03, and a legendary college player)

    Walter Payton – RB – Columbia, MS

    Jerry Rice – WR – Crawford, MS

    Of course, Archie Manning was born in Cleveland, MS, but I believe both Peyton and Eli were born in New Orleans.

    And don’t forget 1959 NFL MVP, Charley Conerly from Clarksdale, MS.

    I could go on….

  3. Anonymous

    December 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    At the time of your writing this, there was one player from Alaska in the league…Carlos Boozer.

  4. Eddie

    June 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I dont know when this was done but it is off as far as the state of washington goes. Washington has at least 12 players in the nba right now.
    Brandon Roy-Portland
    Jason Terry-Dallas
    Nate Robinson-New York
    Jamal Crawford-Golden State
    Spencer Hawes-Sacremento
    Martell Webster-Portland
    Marvin Williams-Atlanta
    Brian Scalabrine-Boston
    Aaron Brooks-Houston
    Adam Morrison-LA Lakers
    Rodney Stucky-Detroit
    Luke Ridinour-Milwaukee

    Not to mention Seattle-Tacoma produced more 2009 Mcdonalds All Americans then NYC, Philly and Chicago combined. Dont sleep on Sea Town one of the best b ball cities with a lot more nba players to come like:
    Terrence Williams
    Abdul Gaddy
    Peyton Siva
    Isiah Thomas

  5. AK907

    July 29, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    your wrong on Alaska…Alaska had/has FOUR nba players…

    1.Brad Davis-Dallas(Retired)
    2.Carlos Boozer-Utah
    3.Mario Chalmers-Miami
    4.Trajon Langdon-Cavs/CSKA/USSR

    by the way..Mario Chalmers played for my dad :)

  6. Truth About It

    July 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    To respond to our friends from Alaska:

    The original research was done by Jason Gurney of BallHype.

    http://ballhype.com/static/nba_birthplace_map/

    In doing so, he got hung up on the technicality of Carlos Boozer being born in Germany.

    Otherwise, the data only includes players who were currently in the NBA at the time of the research (Nov. 2007), so … Davis, Chalmers and Langdon were not listed since they were not in the league.

    Sorry!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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