We Have No Team, But Seattle is the NBA’s Most Fertile Training Ground

by on February 16, 2010

When Garfield High grad Will Conroy joined the Houston Rockets last month, he became the ninth player from a Seattle high school to play for an NBA team this season. This from the 25th largest city in America. Started me wondering–where does Seattle rank as far as sending players to the NBA? The answer: second. Only Chicago (13) has had more players go from city high schools to the League. Amazing in itself, but even more striking when you look at the numbers by population. There, 206 fertility becomes even more clear. Graph!


 

That’s right–among large cities, Seattle is the best NBA breeding ground in the nation. (I mapped the top 50 U.S. cities by population.) We’re well ahead of second-place Miami, and absolutely housing such supposed basketball meccas as Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York. Some larger cities, like San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Austin, haven’t sent a single guy from a city high school to the league.

Now. A word about the data, which comes from Basketball Reference. What’s available is high school and city. So this doesn’t take into account someone like Carmelo Anthony, a Baltimore kid who went to prep school in Virginia. Also, “city” is narrowly defined by actual city boundaries. So Los Angeles, for example, is only L.A. proper, not cities within L.A. County like Compton and Inglemoor. Metro areas aren’t considered, so Seattle doesn’t get credit for Jon Brockman of Snohomish High or Marvin Williams of Bremerton High, only those guys who went to in-city high schools. 


Not perfect. Still, if anything, it shows the caliber of player in our city’s high schools–which, incidentally, begin their league playoffs tonight. Here’s the Metro 3A schedule, and the Kingco 4A one.

Here’s a link to the full spreadsheet, if you want to check it out for yourself.

And here’s the list of Seattle high-schoolers who’ve played in the NBA this year. (Conroy has since returned to the NBA’s minor league.)

Aaron Brooks, Franklin/Houston
Will Conroy, Garfield/Houston
Jamal Crawford, Rainier Beach/Atlanta
Spencer Hawes, Seattle Prep/Sacramento
Nate Robinson, Rainier Beach/New York
Brandon Roy, Garfield/Portland
Jason Terry, Franklin/Dallas
Martell Webster, Seattle Prep/Portland
Terrence Williams, Rainier Beach/New Jersey

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