Ever since the Dream Team took the world by storm in the 1992 Summer Olympics, basketball has become an international sport. Since then, many outstanding NBA players have been born outside of America. The New Orleans Hornets are no exception. Take a look back at the top five foreign-born New Orleans Hornets players.
5. Gustavo Ayon (Mexico)
With the turnover that took place in New Orleans after the 2010-11 season, there figured to be a lot of new faces on the Hornets roster in 2012. One of the most pleasant surprises has been C Gustavo Ayon. As a rookie with the Hornets, he has averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Ayon is only the third NBA player born in Mexico.
4. Greivis Vasquez (Venezuela)
I had a difficult time deciding whether to rank Ayon or Greivis Vasquez higher among the foreign-born Hornets players. But I eventually settled on Vasquez because he plays PG for the Hornets. Vasquez has averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 assists for New Orleans in 2012. Greivis Vasquez is one of only two NBA players born in Venezuela.
3. Marco Belinelli (Italy)
The 2012 New Orleans roster looks a lot like the United Nations. Marco Belinelli represents the third continent (Europe) among Hornets players. Eric Gordon's injury has enabled Belinelli to secure the highest scoring average (11.7) of his NBA career. He is the career leader in three-point shooting percentage among NBA players born in Italy.
2. Peja Stojakovic (Croatia)
One of my favorite memories from the great Hornets teams of the late 2000s is the big, oversized Peja heads that made their way around the New Orleans Arena. In 2007-08, Stojakovic shot 44.1 percent on three-pointers and averaged 16.4 points per game. Stojakovic is the all-time leading scorer among the 13 NBA players born in Croatia.
1. Jamaal Magloire (Canada)
Jamaal Magloire was one of the stars of the early New Orleans Hornets teams. In fact, Magloire is one of only five New Orleans Hornets players in history to be named an NBA All-Star. In 2003-04, Magloire averaged 13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Magloire is the NBA career leader in rebounds among players born in Canada.
Honorable mention foreign-born New Orleans Hornets players
Xavier Henry (Belgium), Sean Marks (New Zealand), Jerome Moiso (France), Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia), Darius Songaila (Lithuania)
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in the New Orleans Arena the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals.
"Gustavo Ayon," basketball-reference.com
"Greivis Vasquez," basketball-reference.com
"Marco Belinelli," basketball-reference.com
"Peja Stojakovic," basketball-reference.com
"Jamaal Magloire," basketball-reference.com
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- New Orleans Hornets
- Greivis Vasquez
- Jamaal Magloire
- Gustavo Ayon
- Marco Belinelli
- New Orleans