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NBA features 120 international players from 40 countries, 6 continents

NBA features 120 international players from 40 countries, 6 continents

The following is a press release via the NBA:

NBA ROSTERS FEATURE 120 INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS FROM 40 COUNTRIES AND SIX CONTINENTS

Back-to-Back Seasons with at Least 120 International Players for First Time in League History; Ninth Consecutive Season League Has at Least 100 International Players

All 30 Teams Feature at Least One International Player 

Opening-Night Rosters Feature Record Number of Players from Canada (22) and Australia (10)

Toronto Raptors Have League-High Eight International Players, Lead League for Second Consecutive Season

NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2022 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that 120 international players from 40 countries and six continents are on opening-night rosters for the 2022-23 season, including a record number of players from Canada (22) and Australia (10) and a record-tying five players from Nigeria.  This marks the first time that opening-night rosters have at least 120 international players in consecutive seasons and the ninth straight season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players.  All 30 NBA teams feature at least one international player.

The 2022-23 season tips off tonight with a doubleheader on TNT.  In the first game, the Philadelphia 76ers will visit the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET).  In the second game, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors will receive their championship rings before hosting the Los Angeles Lakers (10 p.m. ET).

For the ninth consecutive year, Canada is the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by Australia, France (nine players) and Germany (six players).  Nigeria, Serbia and Spain each have five players.  There is a total of 58 European players on opening-night rosters, including three members of the 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team:  Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria), Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia) and 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets; Serbia).

The Toronto Raptors feature eight international players, marking the second consecutive season the Raptors lead the league, followed by the Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings with seven international players each.  The Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz each have six.

Thirty-eight players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to their NBA careers, including Deandre Ayton (Suns; Bahamas; BWB Global 2016), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder; Canada; BWB Global 2016), Joel Embiid (76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards; Japan; BWB Global 2016), Jamal Murray (Nuggets; Canada; BWB Global 2015), Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012) and Jonas Valančiūnas (New Orleans Pelicans; Lithuania; BWB Europe 2008).  Additionally, there are a record three NBA Academy graduates on opening-night rosters: Dyson Daniels (Pelicans; Australia; NBA Global Academy), Josh Giddey (Thunder; Australia; NBA Global Academy) and Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers; Canada; ties to Haiti; NBA Academy Latin America).  NBA Academies, a year-round elite basketball development program for top high school-age athletes from outside the U.S., have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Greater Noida, India; San Luis Potosí, Mexico; and Saly, Senegal for top prospects from their respective countries and continents.

There are also a number of American players with ties to other countries, including more than 35 players with at least one parent from an African country.  Among the American players with ties to other countries are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat; ties to Nigeria), Jalen Green (Houston Rockets; ties to the Philippines), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers; ties to Mexico), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic) and Jaylin Williams (Thunder; ties to Vietnam).

Below please find international player milestones and storylines for the upcoming season:

  • Two international players have won the last four Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Awards: reigning back-to-back MVP Jokić (2021-22 and 2020-21) and Antetokounmpo (2019-20 and 2018-19).  Jokić and the Nuggets will face Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in Milwaukee and on Saturday, March 25 in Denver.
  • Last season was the first time the top three finishers in MVP voting were all international players: Jokić, Embiid and Antetokounmpo.
  • At least five international players have made the Kia All-NBA Team each season since 2018-19.
  • As part of the 2022-23 NBA App GM Survey, Dončić, Antetokounmpo and Embiid were voted the No. 1, 2 and 3 players most likely to win the 2022-23 Kia NBA MVP Award (48%, 34% and 13% of votes, respectively).  Antetokounmpo and Dončić were voted the No. 1 and No. 2 players with whom general managers would most want to start a franchise (55% and 45% of votes, respectively).
  • Daniels and Mathurin are poised to become the second and third NBA Academy graduates to play in the NBA after Giddey became the first last season.  Daniels and Giddey, former teammates at NBA Global Academy in Australia, will meet on Monday, Nov. 28 in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Feb. 13 in Oklahoma City, and Saturday, March 11 in New Orleans.
  • Matchups between Philadelphia and Toronto will feature three former BWB Africa campers from Cameroon: Embiid, Siakam and Christian Koloko (Raptors; BWB Africa 2017; BWB Global 2018).  The teams will play each other on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 28 in Toronto, and on Monday, Dec. 19 and Friday, March 31 in Philadelphia.
  • There are three sets of international brothers in the NBA: Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo (Greece; ties to Nigeria; Bucks, Bucks and Chicago Bulls, respectively); Juancho and Willy Hernangómez (Spain; Raptors and Pelicans, respectively); and Franz and Moritz Wagner (Germany; Magic).
  • There are 14 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars: Antetokounmpo, Dončić, Goran Dragić (Bulls; Slovenia), Embiid, Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves; France), Al Horford (Celtics; Dominican Republic), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets; Australia), Jokić, Kristaps Porzingis (Wizards; Latvia), Domantas Sabonis (Kings; Lithuania), Siakam, Ben Simmons (Nets; Australia), Nikola Vučević (Bulls; Montenegro) and Andrew Wiggins (Warriors; Canada).

Below please find the full list of international players on 2022-23 opening-night rosters (active and inactive):

Country

Name

Team

Ties

Angola

Bruno Fernando

Houston Rockets

 

Argentina

Facundo Campazzo**

Dallas Mavericks

 

Argentina

Leandro Bolmaro**

Utah Jazz

 

Australia

Ben Simmons

Brooklyn Nets

 

Australia

Kyrie Irving

Brooklyn Nets

 

Australia

Patty Mills

Brooklyn Nets

 

Australia

Josh Green**

Dallas Mavericks

 

Australia

Jack White*

Denver Nuggets

 

Australia

Joe Ingles

Milwaukee Bucks

 

Australia

Dyson Daniels^

New Orleans Pelicans

 

Australia

Josh Giddey^**

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Australia

Jock Landale

Phoenix Suns

 

Australia

Matthew Dellavedova

Sacramento Kings

 

Austria

Jakob Poeltl

San Antonio Spurs

 

Bahamas

Kai Jones**

Charlotte Hornets

 

Bahamas

Buddy Hield

Indiana Pacers

 

Bahamas

Deandre Ayton**

Phoenix Suns

Ties to Nigeria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jusuf Nurkić

Portland Trail Blazers

 

Brazil

Raul Neto

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Cameroon

Joel Embiid**

Philadelphia 76ers

 

Cameroon

Christian Koloko**

Toronto Raptors

 

Cameroon

Pascal Siakam**

Toronto Raptors

 

Canada

Mfiondu Kabengele*

Boston Celtics

Ties to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Canada

Dwight Powell

Dallas Mavericks

 

Canada

Jamal Murray**

Denver Nuggets

 

Canada

Cory Joseph

Detroit Pistons

Ties to Trinidad and Tobago

Canada

Andrew Wiggins

Golden State Warriors

 

Canada

Andrew Nembhard**

Indiana Pacers

 

Canada

Bennedict Mathurin^**

Indiana Pacers

Ties to Haiti

Canada

Oshae Brissett

Indiana Pacers

 

Canada

Brandon Clarke

Memphis Grizzlies

 

Canada

Dillon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies

 

Canada

RJ Barrett**

New York Knicks

 

Canada

Luguentz Dort**

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Canada

Caleb Houstan

Orlando Magic

 

Canada

Shaedon Sharpe

Portland Trail Blazers

 

Canada

Trey Lyles

Sacramento Kings

 

Canada

Josh Primo**

San Antonio Spurs

 

Canada

Dalano Banton

Toronto Raptors

 

Canada

Khem Birch

Toronto Raptors

 

Canada

Kelly Olynyk**

Utah Jazz

 

Canada

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Utah Jazz

 

Canada

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander**

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Canada

Eugene Omoruyi*

Oklahoma City Thunder

Ties to Nigeria

Croatia

Bojan Bogdanović

Detroit Pistons

 

Croatia

Ivica Zubac

LA Clippers

 

Croatia

Dario Šarić**

Phoenix Suns

 

Czech Republic

Vít Krejčí**

Atlanta Hawks

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jonathan Kuminga

Golden State Warriors

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Bismack Biyombo

Phoenix Suns

 

Dominican Republic

Al Horford

Boston Celtics

 

Dominican Republic

Chris Duarte

Indiana Pacers

 

Finland

Lauri Markkanen**

Utah Jazz

 

France

Théo Maledon*

Charlotte Hornets

 

France

Frank Ntilikina**

Dallas Mavericks

Ties to Belgium and Rwanda

France

Killian Hayes**

Detroit Pistons

 

France

Moussa Diabate***

LA Clippers

Ties to Guinea and Mali

France

Nicolas Batum**

LA Clippers

Ties to Cameroon

France

Rudy Gobert

Minnesota Timberwolves

 

France

Evan Fournier

New York Knicks

Ties to Algeria

France

Ousmane Dieng

Oklahoma City Thunder

Ties to Senegal

France

Olivier Sarr*

Portland Trail Blazers

Ties to Senegal

Georgia

Goga Bitadze**

Indiana Pacers

 

Georgia

Sandro Mamukelashvili***

Milwaukee Bucks

 

Germany

Maxi Kleber

Dallas Mavericks

 

Germany

Daniel Theis

Indiana Pacers

 

Germany

Dennis Schröder

Los Angeles Lakers

Ties to The Gambia

Germany

Isaiah Hartenstein**

New York Knicks

 

Germany

Franz Wagner

Orlando Magic

 

Germany

Moritz Wagner

Orlando Magic

 

Greece

Kostas Antetokounmpo***

Chicago Bulls

Ties to Nigeria

Greece

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks

Ties to Nigeria

Greece

Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks

Ties to Nigeria

Guinea

Mamadi Diakite*

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Israel

Deni Avdija**

Washington Wizards

 

Italy

Danilo Gallinari**

Boston Celtics

 

Italy

Simone Fontecchio**

Utah Jazz

 

Jamaica

Nick Richards

Charlotte Hornets

 

Japan

Yuta Watanabe

Brooklyn Nets

 

Japan

Rui Hachimura**

Washington Wizards

Ties to Benin

Latvia

Dāvis Bertāns

Dallas Mavericks

 

Latvia

Kristaps Porziņģis

Washington Wizards

 

Lithuania

Jonas Valančiūnas**

New Orleans Pelicans

 

Lithuania

Domantas Sabonis

Sacramento Kings

 

Montenegro

Marko Simonović

Chicago Bulls

 

Montenegro

Nikola Vučević

Chicago Bulls

 

New Zealand

Steven Adams

Memphis Grizzlies

 

Nigeria

Josh Okogie

Phoenix Suns

 

Nigeria

Precious Achiuwa

Toronto Raptors

 

Nigeria

Udoka Azubuike

Utah Jazz

 

Nigeria

Chima Moneke

Sacramento Kings

 

Nigeria

Chimezie Metu

Sacramento Kings

 

Portugal

Neemias Queta*

Sacramento Kings

 

Republic of the Congo

Serge Ibaka

Milwaukee Bucks

Ties to Spain

Senegal

Gorgui Dieng**

San Antonio Spurs

 

Serbia

Bogdan Bogdanović

Atlanta Hawks

 

Serbia

Nikola Jokić

Denver Nuggets

 

Serbia

Boban Marjanović

Houston Rockets

 

Serbia

Nikola Jović

Miami Heat

 

Serbia

Aleksej Pokuševski**

Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Slovenia

Goran Dragić

Chicago Bulls

 

Slovenia

Vlatko Čančar 

Denver Nuggets

 

Slovenia

Luka Dončić

Dallas Mavericks

 

South Sudan

Wenyen Gabriel

Los Angeles Lakers

 

Spain

Ricky Rubio

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Spain

Usman Garuba

Houston Rockets

Ties to Nigeria

Spain

Santi Aldama**

Memphis Grizzlies

 

Spain

Willy Hernangómez**

New Orleans Pelicans

 

Spain

Juancho Hernangómez

Toronto Raptors

 

St. Lucia

Chris Boucher

Toronto Raptors

Ties to Canada

Sudan

Bol Bol

Orlando Magic

 

Switzerland

Clint Capela

Atlanta Hawks

Ties to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Turkey

Cedi Osman

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Turkey

Alperen Sengun

Houston Rockets

 

Turkey

Ömer Yurtseven**

Miami Heat

 

Turkey

Furkan Korkmaz

Philadelphia 76ers

 

Ukraine

Svi Mykhailiuk

New York Knicks

 

Ukraine

Alex Len

Sacramento Kings

 

United Kingdom

Jeremy Sochan

San Antonio Spurs

Ties to Poland

United Kingdom

O.G. Anunoby

Toronto Raptors

Ties to Nigeria

* - Two-Way Player

** - Former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Camper

*** - Both Two-Way Player and Former BWB Camper

^ - NBA Academy Graduate

About the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a global sports and media organization with the mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball.  Built around five professional sports leagues:  the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League, the NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming available in 214 countries and territories in more than 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 200 countries and territories on all seven continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2021-22 season featured a record 121 international players from 40 countries.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 2.1 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

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