For many young basketball players, there is one goal; make it to the NBA. To make it to the top, these stars need the right combination of talent, athleticism, work ethic, and some luck. Going to the right school can also impact your chances of playing in the big leagues. These are the colleges that give athletes the best chance of playing in the NBA.
Several NBA stars have made a name for themselves in front of the UCLA Bruins fans. UCLA has nurtured a total of 39 first-round NBA draft picks, including some of the biggest names in the history of the sport.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the number one overall pick coming out of UCLA back in 1969, with Bill Walton following in his footsteps in 1974. More recently, stars such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Lonzo Ball all earned their stripes by playing for the Bruins. Players in the PAC-12 conference know that UCLA is always the team to look out for, with NBA-quality stars lining up for the Bruins practically every year.
Duke Blue Devils
The reigning number one draft pick, Zion Williamson, isn’t alone in being the guy from Duke University who everyone in the NBA wants. In total, there have been four number one picks to come from Duke, and 48 first-round picks.
That Atlantic Coast college is one of the most competitive in the college basketball scene, and every year the Blue Devils roster is filled with future NBA stars. Besides Williamson, the three other number one draft picks from Duke include Kyrie Irving, Elton Brand, and Art Heyman.
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina is famous for bringing the legendary Michael Jordan to the NBA, and anybody who wants to follow in his footsteps wants to play for the Tar Heels. There have been a total of 51 first-round draft picks to come from North Carolina, and getting a spot on the Tar Heels roster is a huge leg up.
Players coming from North Carolina already have that winning mentality that makes them a huge asset for any NBA franchise. Some of the biggest names to come from North Carolina include the aforementioned Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and James Worthy.
The college with the most players drafted to the NBA in the history of the draft is Kentucky. Wildcats players have been drafted to the NBA first-round a record 52 times, just one ahead of North Carolina.
Young basketball stars heading to the University of Kentucky know they are giving themselves the best possible chance at making it to the big time. Former Kentucky stars who went on to star in the NBA include Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, and John Wall.
Making it in the NBA more than just going to the right school. Although an estimated 90 percent of drafted NBA players have come from Division I schools, there is still room for those who chose a different route. There’s no substitute for hard work and dedication, and with the right attitude, anybody can make it.