Unlike other professional sporting leagues, the National Basketball League (NBA) requires all players to be at least one-year post-high school before being drafted to enter the big leagues.
This often encourages young basketball talent to enroll in prestigious basketball colleges to develop their skills and get a step closer to their end goal.
Every season a group of potential NBA players eagerly awaits their name to be called to enter the draft and take the first step toward a pro basketball career.
Whether NBA Draft potentials spend a year or three at these institutions, the top colleges mentioned in this article continue to provide powerhouse NBA stars every season.
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Top of the list is Kentucky, one of the most prolific schools for nurturing future NBA draft talent. As of writing, Kentucky has had over 112 of its college players drafted to the NBA throughout its illustrious history.
In the 2022-23 season, 25 former Kentucky players are actively competing in the league. Some of the notable talent produced by Kentucky includes Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, John Wall, and Rajon Rondo. However, there are plenty of other star players in the league
Some of these players (Wall, Davis) spent a single year at Kentucky before moving to the NBA whereas others (Rondo) spent more than one year before making the jump.
Make sure to check out NCAAB odds to stay up-to-date with the Wildcats during the upcoming season to identify potential 2023 NBA Draft selections.
Following close behind is UCLA, renowned for its seemingly endless well of potential NBA talent. This premier college has a reputation that sets it up as one of the best for recruiting classes in college basketball.
UCLA has seen 122 players selected for the NBA draft throughout its rich history, the most recent being in the 2020 draft.
As of the 2021-22 season, UCLA has seen 99 of its former players enter and find success in the NBA. And a total of 15 former UCLA Bruins are currently playing in the NBA.
Arguably the most well-known former UCLA basketball great of all time is Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Yet there are other prominent names like Zach LaVine, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love still competing in the NBA today.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL (UNC)
We couldn’t talk about the top colleges without including North Carolina! This college sees a lot of young and talented players making a clear name for themselves in the association.
Truthfully, North Carolina had their best output of NBA talent during the 80s and 90s, but they do continue to consistently churn out new potential draft picks. However, nothing can quite beat playing host to one of the most notable NBA names of all time, Michael Jordan.
Jordan played for North Carolina before being selected by the Chicago Bulls as the third overall draft pick in 1984 and setting the NBA alight for many years after.
UNC has seen a total of 91 former players compete in the NBA.
There are currently 11 UNC basketball alumni playing in the Association, in addition to 16 players in the NBA G-League and overseas. This includes names like Cameron Johnson, Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock, and Coby White.
Duke students come in various shapes and sizes yet one thing is certain: they always make an impact. Some former students have become NBA Champions, perennial All-Stars, and Olympians.
The men’s basketball team at the college has long remained synonymous with success and greatness. It should come as no surprise that some of the greatest NBA stars once proudly wore the Blue Devils' uniform before they turned pro.
Over 107 players have been selected from Duke to become part of NBA draft history. And as of th2 2022-23 season, 21 former Dukies are competing as NBA stars.
The Duke basketball program has produced some of the all-time greatest players in the Association, past, and present. This includes names like Grayson Allen, Marques Bolden, Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, and legendary player Shane Battier.
THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
With 81 former Kansas basketball players having played in the Association, the Kansas Jayhawks are packed with incredible alumni talent.
Kansas basketball added two more names, Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun, to its ever-growing list of NBA players during the 2022 NBA Draft.
At least 16 former Jayhawks appeared in one or more NBA games last season. Of these players, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid made the biggest impact.
In the 2022-23 season, there are 12 former Kansas players currently competing in the NBA. This includes the likes of Marcus Garrett and Devon Kelly Oubre, Jr.
However, Wilt Chamberlain is widely acknowledged as the greatest NBA player to have been produced by Kansas.
Several notable colleges have gone on to produce some of the NBA’s biggest stars. However, the five colleges mentioned in the article above are the few with the highest percentage of success in the Draft and the Association itself.
We can only assume that all five colleges will continue to produce quality NBA talent in the future!