Best 15 NBA Players from New Jersey 2024: Homegrown Talent Showcased

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This small state has produced some big-time athletes, leaving their mark on the basketball world and making their home state proud. As a basketball enthusiast, you can’t help but admire the skill and dedication of these New Jersey natives.

From high school to college, these players honed their skills, garnering attention from scouts and coaches alike. As they made their way into the NBA, they not only showcased their individual talents but also represented the Garden State with pride. Dive into the world of NBA players from New Jersey and get to know more about the successful careers and achievements of these remarkable athletes.

Famous NBA Players from New Jersey

New Jersey has produced some truly outstanding NBA players throughout history. In this section, we’ll dive into the careers and achievements of notable NBA players from New Jersey who left their marks on the game. Let’s explore these world-class athletes and celebrate their well-earned success.

Shaquille O’Neal

Born in Newark, Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most dominant and iconic NBA players in history. With four NBA championships and a plethora of awards, including an MVP and multiple All-Star selections, Shaq’s impact on the game is monumental.

Bam Adebayo

Bam Adebayo, hailing from Newark, is a versatile and skilled young player making his mark in the league. As a 2020 NBA All-Star, he has already shown great promise and potential for future success.

Al Attles

Originally from Newark, Al Attles was both an accomplished NBA player and coach. During his career, Attles was named an All-Star once and led the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship in 1975 as their head coach.

Kenneth Faried

Born in Newark, Kenneth Faried was a high-energy forward known for his rebounding and defensive efforts. Over his career, Faried was a solid role player in the NBA and won a gold medal as part of Team USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Randy Foye

Union City native, Randy Foye, had a solid NBA career, during which he played for several teams. His career peaked in 2013 when he averaged 18.3 points per game for the Utah Jazz.

Cleo Hill

Cleo Hill, born in Newark, was a talented player drafted in 1961 by the St. Louis Hawks. Though he only played one season in the NBA, he made history as the first African American from an HBCU to be drafted into the league.

Eric Williams

Combining tenacity and talent, Newark-born Eric Williams had a long NBA career playing for multiple franchises. His best season came in 1999 with the Boston Celtics when he averaged 15.2 points per game.

Rick Barry

Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry was born in Elizabeth and had an extraordinary NBA career, winning an NBA championship and being named Finals MVP in 1975.

J.R. Smith

Born in Freehold, J.R. Smith is an athletic and flashy shooting guard with a penchant for hitting clutch shots. Smith was part of the 2016 NBA championship-winning team with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mike Bibby

Jersey City’s Mike Bibby had a successful and lengthy NBA career as a point guard, most notably with the Sacramento Kings.

Dennis Rodman

Hailing from Trenton, Dennis Rodman is a legendary NBA figure known for his tenacious rebounding and colorful personality. Rodman won five NBA championships and was named an All-Star twice.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Piscataway native, Karl-Anthony Towns, is widely considered one of the game’s premier big men. Towns has been named an All-Star multiple times and is poised to continue his dominance in the NBA for years to come.

Ira Bowman

Born in Newark, Ira Bowman had a brief NBA career playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. Following his playing days, Bowman transitioned to coaching and has since worked for multiple college basketball programs.

Mike Brown

Born in Newark, Mike Brown had a lengthy NBA career playing as a forward-center for multiple teams. He is also a two-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.

Corky Devlin

Corky Devlin, from Jersey City, played in the NBA for the Minneapolis Lakers and the Philadelphia Warriors. He was a solid contributor, averaging a career-high 9.9 points per game in the 1956-57 season.

Path to the NBA

Many NBA players from New Jersey embark on a similar journey. From the competitive high school leagues to achieving success in college and ultimately making it to the NBA Draft, these players have demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication. In this section, we’ll explore the pathways to the NBA for players hailing from the Garden State.

High School

High school basketball in New Jersey is known for producing some of the nation’s top talent. Whether it’s public schools, private institutions, or prestigious prep academies, New Jersey boasts numerous programs that develop future NBA players. As you follow the journeys of these athletes, you may find that some have competed against each other on the court, forming lifelong friendships and rivalries in the process.


After making a name for themselves in high school, many New Jersey players continue to excel in the NCAA. They join top-tier college basketball programs, not only in local states but also across the country. While in college, these athletes refine their skills and build connections with coaching staff, teammates, and scouts, all crucial for their development as professional basketball players.

NBA Draft

The culmination of all the hard work at the high school and college levels is the NBA Draft. This is where NBA teams select new players to join their rosters, and it’s the ultimate dream for many aspiring basketball players from New Jersey. Historically, the state has produced some notable names, including Shaquille O’Neal, Rick Barry, J.R. Smith, and many more.

New Jersey NBA Teams History

As a fan of NBA players from New Jersey, you might be curious about the history of New Jersey’s NBA teams. In this section, we’ll explore the state’s contributions to NBA and ABA history, highlighting key moments and notable teams.

The professional basketball scene in New Jersey arguably began with the New Jersey Americans, a team that participated in the ABA during the 1967-68 season. The ABA, or American Basketball Association, was a rival league to the NBA, and several players from the state joined their ranks. Unfortunately, the Americans did not achieve much success, as they relocated to New York the following year and became the New York Nets.

The same team would eventually return to New Jersey in 1977, once again adopting the “New Jersey Nets” moniker. Their tenure saw some memorable accomplishments, including multiple playoff appearances. They made their mark on NBA history by reaching the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003 but, unfortunately, fell to the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs respectively.

Throughout their time in New Jersey, the Nets saw many talented players grace their roster. Some standout names include Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Dražen Petrović. These gifted athletes helped the team achieve success and garnered many fans in the process.

In 2012, the team relocated one final time, moving to Brooklyn and becoming the Brooklyn Nets, the name they carry to this day. The legacy of professional basketball in New Jersey lives on through the players and memories left behind, as well as the ongoing careers of current NBA players hailing from the Garden State.

New Jersey Players in NBA Events

New Jersey has been home to numerous talented NBA players who have made a mark in various basketball events. In this section, you’ll learn about the notable NBA players from New Jersey who have participated and excelled in All-Star Games, International Events, and have received various Awards and Honors.

All-Star Games

nba players from new jersey

The NBA All-Star Game is a prime platform for showcasing the league’s best players. Players from New Jersey, such as Shaquille O’Neal and Rick Barry, have graced the All-Star stage, earning numerous selections and even MVP awards throughout their careers.

International Events

NBA players from New Jersey have also represented their country and participated in prestigious international events, such as the Olympics and FIBA World Cup. With their talent and dedication, these players have contributed to their national team’s success and brought glory to both their home state and the United States.

Awards and Honors

New Jersey’s NBA players have received various accolades for their outstanding performances in the league. Some have been acknowledged as top scorers, best defenders, and even MVPs during their careers. These accomplishments solidify the reputation of New Jersey as a hotbed for basketball talent and further emphasize the significance of the state in the NBA’s rich history.

Statistics and Players Analysis

As a basketball fan, you might be interested in learning about the talented NBA players from New Jersey. In this section, we’ll dive into some key topics related to these players, including injury reports, trade and transaction updates, player comparisons, and statistical analysis.

Injury Reports

Keeping an eye on the health of your favorite NBA players from New Jersey is crucial. Injuries can happen at any time and may significantly impact a player’s performance or even their career. Remember to regularly check official sources like for updated injury reports, as well as team-specific websites and social media pages for reliable information on player statuses.

Trade and Transaction Updates

Stay in the loop with the latest trades and transactions involving NBA players from New Jersey by following reliable news sources, such as ESPN and RealGM. These sources often provide in-depth analysis and context for each deal, allowing you to understand how a specific trade or transaction might impact a player’s role on their team.

Player Comparisons

Comparing different NBA players from New Jersey can help you appreciate their unique skills and contributions to the game. You can access player profiles and career highlights on websites like Basketball-Reference to explore statistical comparisons across various categories, such as points per game, assists, and rebounds. Consider discussing these comparisons with fellow fans on online forums and social media platforms to gain new perspectives on players’ strengths and weaknesses.

Statistical Analysis

Dig deeper into the performance of New Jersey’s NBA players by examining their statistical data. Analyzing advanced metrics like player efficiency rating (PER) and win shares can give you a more comprehensive understanding of a player’s impact on the court. Websites like FiveThirtyEight often provide insightful articles and visualizations related to various aspects of player performance.

My Personal Opinion

In my opinion, the list of the Best 15 NBA Players from New Jersey is a testament to the rich basketball culture that this state has nurtured. From iconic legends to rising stars, each player on this list has made a significant impact on the game and deserves recognition for their contributions. Their dedication, talent, and hard work have not only shaped the NBA landscape but have also inspired countless aspiring basketball players from New Jersey and beyond.


What state do most NBA players come from?

There are more California-born players in the NBA than any other state by a wide margin.

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Fabian Kühar
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