Similar to our post on what college has produced the most NFL players, the research team at Grand Canyon University gathered data on every NBA player who has ever appeared on an active NBA roster, to figure out what college has the most NBA players of all-time.
Overall, Kentucky has produced the most NBA players with 107 players appearing on an roster. UCLA comes in a close second with 97 players produced all-time.
What college has the most players on the same team? As of 12/15/19, five Duke Blue Devils are on the New Orleans Pelicans: J.J. Redick, Brandon Ingram, Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor, Zion Williamson.
Four teams have three players from the same school:
- Atlanta Hawks, Maryland: Alex Len, Bruno Fernando, Kevin Huerter
- Oklahoma City Thunder, Kentucky: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nerlens Noel, Hamidou Diallo
- Charlotte Hornets, Kentucky: PJ Washington, Malik Monk, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
- Los Angeles Lakers, Kentucky: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo
Since the NBA’s formation in the 1940s, there have been 3,394 players on rosters in both the United States and Canada.
NBA Players By College – Overall Top 10
- Kentucky – 107
- UCLA – 97
- North Carolina – 90
- Duke – 83
- Kansas – 72
- Indiana – 66
- Louisville – 58
- Notre Dame – 56
- Arizona – 56
- St. John’s – 52
When it comes to career length, Clemson holds the longest all-time career length with former players averaging almost eight years in the league. Alabama comes in second place with almost seven and a half years on average as Auburn follows close behind.
What College Has The Most NBA Players By Decade?
In the 1960s, Indiana produced the most NBA players. In the 70s, North Carolina took over. UCLA ruled the 1980s through the 2000s until Kentucky took control of the past decade. That’s not surprising, as Kentucky has appeared in the NCAA tournament every year except for two since 2000 and won the tournament most recently in 2012.Here are some additional takeaways:
- The University of Kentucky has produced the most NBA players of all time with 107. They also had the most players in the NBA in the 2018-19 season
- Players out of Clemson have the longest careers with an average of 7.7 years on the roster, followed by Alabama and Auburn
- UCLA has been among the top 3 in producing NBA players every decade since 1970.