States in the United States that Produced Most NBA Players: Fan’s View

These are the states in the United States where the most NBA players were born in. I'm also including ABA players here, though the vast majority of players listed for each state played in the NBA. All states that have produced at least 100 pro players are listed.

Basketball greats with NBA Championship Trophy
Wikimedia Commons

I was born in New York State, which is very high up on this list. My favorite NBA team is the New Jersey Nets, and the first player we ever drafted back in 1977 was also born in New York. He went on to have a great career, but is not yet in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

States in the United States That Produced Most NBA Players

1. California - 321 players in NBA and ABA

George Yardley, Gail Goodrich, Vern Mikkelsen, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton, and Jim Pollard were all born in California and are all in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Other great players from California who are likely to, or might make the Basketball Hall of Fame include Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Kevin Johnson, Gary Payton and Jason Kidd.

Young NBA players with great talent from California include Russell Westbrook, Brook Lopez, Brandon Jennings, and Kevin Love.

2. New York - 290

Some 290 players born in New York State have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. Most were born in and around New York City, but not all.

Basketball Hall of Fame players from New York State include Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Billy Cunningham, Bob Lanier, Tiny Archibald, Connie Hawkins, Dolph Schayes, Bob Cousy, Lenny Wilkens, Bobby Wanzer, Dick McGuire and Al Cervi. Brooklyn's Chris Mullin was inducted in 2011.

Current NBA players born in New York include Carmelo Anthony, Elton Brand, Metta World Peace, Lamar Odom and rookie Kemba Walker. Bernard King was also born in New York. King was the first player my New Jersey Nets team ever drafted. He had a great NBA career, but is not yet in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

3. Illinois - 210

Some 201 players that were born in Illinois have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. Most are from the Chicago area. Basketball Hall of Fame players born in Illinois include Geroge Mikan, Dan Issel, Isiah Thomas, Harry Gallatin, and Andy Phillips.

Current NBA players born in Illinois include Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Corey Maggette, Andre Iguodala, Juwan Howard, and New York Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert.

4. Pennsylvania - 170

Some 170 players that were born in Pennsylvania have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. At the top of the list is Wilt Chamberlain. Other greats from Pennsylvania include Basketball Hall of Famers Pete Maravich, Paul Arizin, Jack Twyman, Earl Monroe, Maurice Stokes, Bob Davies, Buddy Jeannette, and Tom Gola.

Current NBA players born in Pennsylvania include Kobe Bryant, Tyreke Evans, Rip Hamilton, Jameer Nelson, and the rookie twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris.

5. Ohio - 143

Some 143 players that were born in Ohio have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. Hall of Fame players from Ohio include John Havlicek, Neil Johnston, Jerry Lucas, Gus Johnson, and Nate Thurmond. Current NBA players who were born in Ohio include LeBron James, Michael Redd, Kevin Martin, Stephen Curry, and Miami Heat rookie Norris Cole.

6. Michigan - 131

Some 131 players born in Michigan have done on to play in the NBA and ABA. Basketball Hall of Fame players born in Michigan include Magic Johnson, George Gervin, and Dave DeBusscherre. Current NBA players born in Michigan include Jason Richardson, Chris Kaman, Jordan Crawford and Shane Battier.

7. Texas - 129

Some 129 players born in Texas have played in the NBA and ABA. The two hall of fame players from Texas are Slater Martin and Bill Sharman. Current NBA players born in Texas include Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge, Grant Hill, Stephen Jackson, Emeka Okafor, and Wesley Matthews.

8. Indiana - 105

Some 105 players born in Indiana have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. The two Basketball Hall of Fame players born in Indiana are Larry Bird and Clyde Lovellette. Current NBA players born in Indiana include Zach Randolph and Eric Gordon.

9. Georgia - 105

Some 105 players born in Georgia have gone on to play in the NBA and ABA. Hall of fame player Walt Clyde Frazier was born in Georgia. Current NBA players from Georgia include Dwight Howard and Josh Smith.

10. North Carolina - 102

The last state with over 100 players is North Carolina with 102. Basketball Hall of Fame players from North Carolina include David Thompson, Bob McAdoo, Walt Bellamy, Sam Jones and James Worthy. Current NBA players born in North Carolina include Chris Paul, Jerry Stackhouse, John Wall and Josh Howard.

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Updated Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012