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Out of the 351 Division I Men’s Basketball teams, although a majority of the athletes that play are from the United States, there are an additional 90 other countries that are represented on teams in the country. There are almost 7,400 NCAA Men’s basketball Division I players, over 6,400 of those players are from the USA. The largest country being represented following the United States is Canada with 166 athletes. Some other countries with a large number of representatives include Australia with 93, Nigeria with 55, Serbia with 50, Senegal with 35, and France with 23. There are 18 countries that have 10-19 players from their country playing for colleges in the US. 43 countries have between 2-9 athletes, and 20 countries with just 1 athlete representing them.

Around 11% of NCAA players at the moment are international players. The teams with the most international students playing on their teams are Maine University and St. Mary’s. In the 2018-2019 season, Maine University has 12 foreign players on their 16 man roster. Two of the players are from Serbia, while the other 10 come from Ukraine, Brazil, Sweden, Canada, Taiwan, Latvia, Croatia, England, Lebanon, and Nigeria. St. Mary’s College has 10 of their players on their roster of 15 from international countries. 5 of the players being from Australia, 2 from New Zealand, 1 from Estonia, 1 from Latvia, and 1 from England. Other teams with significant number of international players are University of Nevada at Las Vegas with 7, Hartford University, University at Albany, and Davidson College have 6 players.

Along with those teams, over the past few years Gonzaga has also been a big school for recruiting players from overseas. Their assistant coach, Tommy Lloyd has taken his time with the team to recruit a handful of players from many different countries overseas. He has had great success with this over the years. The team currently has 4 international players from France, Japan, and Serbia. Those are just a few of the countries that Lloyd has recruited from, others include Poland, Lithuania, Canada, Germany, and more.

Out of the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament this year, there are around 160 international players combined. St. Mary’s College has ten, Bradley University has 7, Iona College and Utah State University both have 6, and University of Central Florida, University of Maryland, Gonzaga University, University of Virginia, Arizona State University, and New Mexico State University all have 5. 13 schools have 4 players on their roster that are foreign, 3 schools have 3, 13 schools have 2, and 15 schools only have 1 on their team. Despite the large number of international players in the tournament this season, 14 of the schools do not have a single international player on their roster.

Teams and coaches in the NCAA have better access now than ever before to bring international prospects to their programs. With a decrease in the money players can make overseas, especially in the European club teams, coming to America to play for college is a better way for the players to not only further their career and give them extra time to improve their craft. Also, playing for a college team helps international players gain exposure too, with not only the public eyes but with NBA scouts as well. It will be interesting to see how teams will grow in the future and if they will welcome even more international players to their rosters.

 

Countries and # of Athletes Represented from them:

  • USA - 6478

  • Canada - 166

  • Australia - 93

  • Nigeria - 55

  • Serbia - 50

  • Senegal - 35

  • France - 23

  • Czech Republic - 19

  • New Zealand - 19

  • Lithuania - 18

  • Sweden - 18

  • Italy - 17

  • Finland - 16

  • Puerto Rico - 15

  • Netherlands - 14

  • Spain - 14

  • Bahamas - 13

  • Switzerland - 13

  • Turkey - 13

  • England - 12

  • Latvia - 12

  • Mali - 12

  • United Kingdom - 11

  • Congo - 10

  • Croatia - 10

  • South Sudan - 10

  • China - 9

  • Dominican Republic - 9

  • Germany - 9

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina - 8

  • Brazil - 8

  • Egypt - 8

  • Iceland - 8

  • Portugal - 8

  • Russia - 8

  • Slovenia - 8

  • Virgin Islands - 8

  • Denmark - 6

  • Poland - 6

  • Ukraine - 6

  • Austria - 5

  • Belgium - 5

  • Cameroon - 5

  • Estonia - 5

  • Ghana - 5

  • Montenegro - 5

  • Colombia - 4

  • Greece - 4

  • Guinea - 4

  • Ireland - 4

  • Jamaica - 4

  • Chile - 3

  • Georgia - 3

  • Hungary - 3

  • Israel - 3

  • Ivory Coast - 3

  • Japan - 3

  • Mexico - 3

  • Norway - 3

  • Taiwan - 3

  • Angola - 2

  • Argentina - 2

  • Belarus - 2

  • Bulgaria - 2

  • Grenada - 2

  • Haiti - 2

  • Kenya - 2

  • Martinique - 2

  • Rwanda - 2

  • Suriname - 2

  • Albania - 1

  • Antigua and Barbados - 1

  • Benin - 1

  • Burkina Faso - 1

  • Chad - 1

  • Costa Rica - 1

  • Gabon - 1

  • Gambia - 1

  • Hong Kong - 1

  • Kuwait - 1

  • Lebanon - 1

  • Macedonia - 1

  • Niger - 1

  • Panama - 1

  • Philippines - 1

  • Romania - 1

  • South Africa - 1

  • Trinidad and Tobago - 1

  • Tunisia - 1

  • Uruguay - 1

  • Venezuela - 1

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