Basketball fans all across the country take tremendous pride in the basketball players that hail from their area. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ first ever NBA title win in 2016 was made all the more special because Ohio’s own LeBron James was the driving force behind the championship.
Even though basketball players often leave their home state to play in college and the NBA, these athletes are forever associated with their home state. With the ever growing attention to high school scouting and to events like the McDonald’s All-American game, hoops superstars can become famous in their teens, when they are still living and representing their home state.
To determine the best basketball player from every state, 24/7 Wall St. used NBA statistics from Basketball Reference to review the longevity, accolades, and successes of NBA players. The players’ home states are the ones in which they attended high school. In smaller states, like Maine and Vermont, there are postgraduate high school programs some players briefly attended to attract scouting attention before they played college basketball. These programs were considered when compiling the list, even if the player had not lived in the state where they went to school previously.
Some of these players have had such remarkable skill and athleticism that they began dominating the NBA right out of high school, in their teens and early 20s. These are the youngest athletes to dominate their sport.
Each state has at least one NBA player residents can take pride in. For some states, those players are all they have to root for when watching the NBA. North Carolina’s Charlotte Hornets, for example, have been one of the worst franchises in the NBA. Still, North Carolinians had much to root for when legend Michael Jordan dominated the NBA as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Jordan has even purchased a controlling interest in the Hornets, but he has yet managed to turn the team around. These are the teams that have never won a championship.