The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will expire at the end of June and a lockout is a very real possibility. One topic certain to come up in negotiations is the eligibility of high schoolers for the NBA draft.
Since the inception of the NBA’s current CBA (2005), players have to be one year removed from the graduation of their high school class. The NBA was essentially forcing kids to go to college for at least one year before they could enter the league.
But even before the NBA barred high schoolers from the NBA draft, colleges were still the most significant source of talent. According to Basketball-Reference.com, since the 1991-92 season, more than 1,300 players have entered the NBA. Of those, only 183 never attended college. And many of those players are from Europe.
And during that 20-year period, the school that has produced the most NBA talent is UCLA (see chart below), with 31 players in the NBA. They are followed by North Carolina (29), Arizona (28) and Kentucky (27).
In all, 250 different schools have sent at least one player to the NBA in the last 20 years. Of those, 43 have sent at least 10. And schools like Augsburg, Blinn, Fordham (one of my Alma maters), Lebanon Valley, Okaloosa-Walton, Stetson, and William Patterson have sent one player to the big time.
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