National Basketball Association (NBA)

National Basketball Association (NBA) Image

Like other professional sports, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is also a global sport. Since 1947, foreign-born NBA players have comprised 10 percent of all players and most recently from 2010 to the present, more than twenty percent of NBA players who debuted in the league were foreign-born. Over time, foreign-born NBA players have come from nearly every continent representing 80 countries, as well as U.S. Territories and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

During the 2022-2023 NBA season, 23 percent of NBA players were foreign-born. More than three-fourths (76%) of foreign-born NBA players who played during the 2022-2023 NBA season were born in Europe, Canada, or Africa.

During the 2023 NBA finals, 18 percent of NBA players were foreign-born. Foreign-born NBA players were born in six different countries: Australia (Jack White), Canada (Jamal Murray), Serbia (Nikola Jokić), Slovenia (Vlatko Čančar), Turkey (Omer Yurtseven), and United Kingdom (Nikola Jović).  Nikola Jokić was not only the top scorer during the 2023 NBA finals, but he was awarded the finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Additionally, for the past five years, foreign-born players in the NBA were awarded the season MVP: Joel Embiid (2022-2023) Nikola Jokić (2020-2021 and 2021-2022), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2018-2019; 2019-2020).

For a fact sheet on NBA players during the 2022-2023 season, click on the below link:

2022-2023 NBA Fact Sheet

For a fact sheet on prior NBA seasons and other reports, click on the below links:

Foreign-Born NBA Players and Their Impact

2021-2022 NBA Fact Sheet