New York [USA], December 23 (ANI): The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that 107 international players from 41 countries are on opening-night rosters for the 2020-21 season, including a record 17 Canadian players and a record-tying 14 African players.
This marks the seventh consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players. All 30 teams have at least one international player. In addition to the 107 international players on 2020-21 opening-night rosters, there are 10 international players from a record-tying eight countries on "two-way" contracts, allowing them to play in up to 50 NBA games this season.
For the seventh consecutive year, Canada (17 players) is the most-represented country outside of the US, followed by France (nine players), Australia (eight players), Serbia and Germany (six players each).
The Washington Wizards have an NBA-high seven international players. The Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets each have six, while the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors each have five.
A record 34 players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to starting their NBA careers, surpassing the previous record of 30 set in 2019-20.
Former BWB campers include Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Jamal Murray (Nuggets; Canada; BWB Global 2015) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012). BWB is the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 76 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.
There are also a number of American players with ties to other countries, including more than 30 players with at least one parent from Africa. Among the American players with ties to other countries are Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz; ties to the Philippines), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; ties to Nigeria), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic).
The records for international players (113) and countries and territories represented (42) were set at the start of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, respectively. (ANI)