We thought it would be kind of cool to put together a map of notable basketball players who came from North Carolina. As we got into it, we realized that there are multiple levels: first, the superstars. Then the normal level below superstar. And then the guys who grew up before integration who had to leave the state to find a place to play: Lou Hudson, Walt Bellamy, and Sam Jones, for instance.
Then there were the slightly younger guys like Henry Bibby, who left for their own reasons, but who could have played in the ACC had they wanted to.
And there were comings and goings: Jim McMillian's family moved to New York, while Michael Jordan's moved from New York to Wilmington.
We're sure we missed some guys, and some you might think are important where we didn't. But even so, it shows the rich and deep tradition of basketball in this state.
Also, here's an interesting series of pie charts showing schools and conferences and showing who they have sent on to the NBA lately.
Somehow, they forgot State, which is too bad. State can claim JJ Hickson, Julius Hodge, Josh Powell, Cedric Simmons, Damien Wilkins and Adam Harrington (briefly). They weren't all drafted, but they all played some in the NBA.
That's a pretty big miss.