I recently had a discussion within a focus group, and discovered that Patrick Ewing was not born in America. This shocked me. Disbelieving, I immediately wiki-ed it, and found out that he indeed was born in Kingston Jamaica. One of my boyhood heroes—the Hoya Destroya—was not an American basketball product.
A few more quick searches yielded a list that has caused me to rethink much of what I believed about the state of US basketball.
The game is no longer just an American game. In the last decade alone, the number of European players has doubled. Africa had held steady, while South America has grown from no representation, to a 4 percent mark last year. Astounding.
What's more, we are no longer talking about foreign players that simply fill out the bottom halves of a teams roster. There are legitimate stars. Lots of them.
What started out as an effort to put together a list of these players for you, has grown into a challenge to field a competitive team. What I soon discovered may indeed shock you as well. I am having trouble keeping great players ON this 12 man roster.
What follows in the slide show below, is my attempt to field a competitive NBA roster. The criteria? The player had to be born outside the US or hold a non-US citizenship.
Our roster goes big (playing to our strengths). Included, we have three centers, three power forwards, two small forwards, two shooting guards, and two point guards.
Enjoy the list and feel free to include players you think I may have omitted in the comments.
You may be surprised how good this team really is.