The United Kingdom has produced some of the best NBA players of all time. From the legendary Kobe Bryant to the talented Andrew Wiggins, these players have made a name for themselves in the National Basketball Association.
The UK has a proud history of producing some of the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen. From Hall of Famers to All-Stars, the British Isles have been the source of some of the most memorable and successful players in the league.
We take a look at some of the best UK NBA players of all time.
1. Luol Deng
Luol Ajou Deng OBE is a former professional basketball player who has had a successful career both in the NBA and abroad. He was born in what is now South Sudan but had to flee the country with his family as a child, eventually settling in the United Kingdom.
During his time in the NBA, Deng was a two-time All-Star and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2012. This accomplishment is a testament to Deng’s hard work and dedication to the sport, as well as his strong performance throughout his career.
Deng’s success in the NBA has also led to him being awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This is a recognition of his contributions to the sport of basketball, both as a player and as an ambassador of the game.
Luol Ajou Deng is a true success story, having overcome the odds to make his mark in the NBA.
2. Ben Gordon
Benjamin Ashenafi Gordon is a British-American former professional basketball player. He had a successful 11-year career in the National Basketball Association, playing for a number of different teams.
Before his professional career, Gordon played college basketball for the University of Connecticut, helping the team to win a national championship in 2004.
During his college career, Gordon was seen as a valuable asset to the team, and his presence was often cited as a major factor in the team’s success. After his college career, Gordon was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2004 and went on to have a successful professional career.
During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Gordon was a reliable scorer, averaging double figures in points in nine of his 11 seasons. He also proved to be a valuable asset to his teams, as his presence was often credited as a major factor in the team’s success.
Overall, Benjamin Ashenafi Gordon was a talented basketball player who had a successful career both in college and the professional leagues.
3. OG Anunoby
Ogugua “O.G.” Anunoby is a British professional basketball player currently playing for the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Indiana University and was a member of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team before entering the NBA.
In 2019, he won an NBA Championship with the Raptors, becoming the first British player to do so. Anunoby quickly made a name for himself in the NBA with his impressive defensive skills.
He is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions, making him a valuable asset for the Raptors. Anunoby is also known for his ability to knock down three-point shots, helping to spread the floor and create space for his teammates.
His athleticism and energy also make him a great rebounder and finisher around the rim. Off the court, Anunoby is a role model for aspiring basketball players around the world.
He is a great example of what hard work and dedication can do, and he continues to motivate those around him to work towards their goals. He is an inspiration to many and has made a lasting impact on the game of basketball.
4. John Amaechi
John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi, OBE is a highly accomplished individual who has achieved success in multiple fields. He is a psychologist, consultant and former professional basketball player.
He had a successful college basketball career at Vanderbilt and Penn State universities, and went on to play professional basketball in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He also had an impressive international career, playing in France, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Amaechi has a wealth of experience in the field of psychology, and is a highly sought-after consultant.
He has worked with organizations such as the British Olympic Association, the Royal Navy, and the British Army, and is also an advocate for LGBT rights. John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi, OBE is an inspiring individual who has achieved success in multiple fields.
His diverse skillset and impressive resume have enabled him to have a successful career in basketball, psychology, and consulting. He has been an inspiration to many and is a role model for aspiring athletes, psychologists, and professionals.
5. Kelenna Azubuike
Kelenna David Azubuike is a very accomplished individual. He was born in London to Nigerian parents and moved to the United States when he was still a child.
He went on to have a very successful basketball career, playing professionally for the Golden State Warriors and other NBA teams.
After his retirement from professional basketball, he found a new career path as a television analyst for the Golden State Warriors on NBC Sports Bay Area. Azubuike now serves as an example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication, no matter where you come from.
He is proof that anyone, with the right attitude and determination, can achieve greatness.
6. Chris Harris
Christopher R. Harris was a remarkable figure in the history of both sports broadcasting and professional basketball. As a British sports broadcaster, he had a lasting impact on the world of sports media. As a professional basketball player, he was a trailblazer.
At 6’3″ and playing the shooting guard position, Harris was the first player from the United Kingdom to compete in the American National Basketball Association.
He was also the first undrafted foreign-born player to play in the league’s history, a significant achievement that further opened the doors for international basketball players to compete in the NBA. Harris’ career paved the way for many others to follow in his footsteps.
7. Joel Freeland
Joel Daniel Freeland is a British former professional basketball player who has extensive experience playing the sport. He played for the VTB United League’s CSKA Moscow until recently.
Freeland stands at an impressive 2.10 m, and was able to play both the power forward and center positions. As well as his professional career, Freeland was also a part of the Great Britain national basketball team.
His presence on the team was valuable, as he was able to use his versatile skill set to help the team succeed.
Freeland is an experienced player who has not only had a successful professional career but has also been an important part of the Great Britain national basketball team.
8. Byron Mullens
B.J. Mullens is a professional basketball player who currently plays for the New Taipei Kings of the P. League. He was born in America but has British nationality due to his English mother.
In 2009, he was selected in the NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks as the 24th overall pick. However, Mullens was immediately traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after being selected. Since then, he has been playing for the New Taipei Kings.
Mullens is a talented player with the ability to make an impact on the court. He has great size and athleticism, making him a valuable asset for any team. With his strong work ethic and dedication to the game, Mullens has the potential to be a star in the league.
9. Steve Bucknall
Steven Lee Bucknall OBE is an accomplished and well-respected former professional basketball player, who has achieved success both on and off the court.
He had a successful playing career in the English Basketball League and was the head coach of the British Basketball League expansion franchise, London Capital. Throughout his basketball career, Bucknall was a highly respected player known for his hard work, skill, and determination.
He was a valuable team player that could be relied upon to make the right decisions and take the correct shots.
He was an intelligent player who could read the game and make the right decisions on the court. As a coach, Bucknall was instrumental in leading London Capital to the top of the British Basketball League.
He was able to bring the expansion franchise to the top of the league in a relatively short period of time, and was highly regarded for his ability to nurture and develop young players. Bucknall’s commitment to basketball was recognized when he was awarded an OBE in 2018.
His achievements in the sport have been widely celebrated, and he is seen as an important figure in the history of the British Basketball League.
10. Ndudi Ebi
Ndudi Hamani Ebi is a former professional basketball player who was born in England but is of Nigerian descent. He is most well-known for his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He was a part of the Timberwolves from 2003 to 2005. Prior to joining the Timberwolves, Ebi had made a verbal commitment to play for the University of Arizona. However, he ultimately decided to make himself eligible for the NBA draft instead.
His decision paid off, as he was selected in the first round of the 2003 NBA draft. He was the first player from the UK to be selected in the first round of the draft. Ebi’s time with the Timberwolves was short-lived, and he was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets in 2005.
He went on to play for several other teams in the NBA and in international leagues. After a successful career, he retired in 2013. Ndudi Hamani Ebi is remembered as an important figure in the NBA and as an inspiration to young basketball players from the UK.
11. Tosan Evbuomwan
Torisesan “Tosan” Evbuomwan is an incredible athlete who has found success in two different leagues. He is currently a professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
This team is one of the most successful franchises in the league, with a long history of championship titles and incredible players.
As a member of the Pistons, Tosan is able to experience the highest level of basketball competition. In addition, Tosan is also a member of the Motor City Cruise of the NBA G League.
The G League is the official minor league of the NBA, and is a great stepping stone for players who are aiming to make it to the NBA. Tosan has taken advantage of this opportunity and is playing at a high level for the Cruise.
He is able to experience a different type of basketball competition, while still honing his skills in preparation for the NBA. Overall, Tosan Evbuomwan is an incredible athlete who is currently making waves in two different leagues.
He is a great example of the kind of success that can be achieved when one works hard and pursues their dreams. He is an inspiration to aspiring basketball players everywhere.
12. Neil Fingleton
Neil Fingleton was an extraordinary man. He was born in England and, although he was an actor, he was also a basketball player. His towering height of 7 ft 7.56 in made him the tallest living British-born man and the tallest man in the European Union.
This was even more impressive when considering that he was one of the 25 tallest men in the world. Throughout his life, Neil Fingleton was renowned for his towering height.
He was a popular figure in the basketball world, initially playing for the Durham Hurricanes in the British Basketball League.
He later moved to the United States to pursue his basketball career, playing for teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats, the Boston Celtics, and the Orlando Magic. Despite his fame in the basketball world, his acting career was just as successful.
He appeared in films such as X-Men: First Class, Jupiter Ascending, and 47 Ronin. Neil Fingleton’s height was only surpassed by a handful of people who were taller than him.
His passing in 2017 marked the end of an extraordinary life, as he had achieved more than most people could ever dream of. Neil Fingleton was an inspiration to many, and his incredible height will remain a testament to his unique character and achievements.
13. Eric Boateng
Eric Yamoah Boateng is an impressive athlete. He is currently a professional basketball player in the United Kingdom, but he also has a strong background in college basketball.
He attended Arizona State University, where he was a standout player for the Sun Devils men’s basketball team. Before his college career, Eric attended St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, where he was a highly-regarded high school basketball player.
His time in high school helped him develop his skills and prepared him for a successful career in college and beyond. Eric is an example of how hard work and dedication can pay off, as his basketball career has taken him to great heights.
He is an inspiration to aspiring basketball players all over the world.
14. Robert Gilchrist
Robert Gilchrist is a professional basketball player currently playing for Elan Coton of the Road to BAL. He was born in London, England and attended college in the United States. Gilchrist’s basketball career began in college, where he showcased his talent as a scoring machine.
He was a four-year starter, averaging over 20 points per game during his collegiate career. After college, Gilchrist joined Elan Coton of the Road to BAL, a professional basketball league in Europe.
His first season with the team was a success, as he led them to the league championship and was named Most Valuable Player. Gilchrist has since become a star in the league, as he continues to put up big numbers night in and night out.
He is a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court and has helped Elan Coton remain at the top of the Road to BAL standings.
15. Prince Ibeh
Prince Chinenye Ibeh is a professional basketball player currently playing for APR of the Rwanda Basketball League. He was born in the United Kingdom and is of Rwandan descent. He began his professional basketball career in 2017 when he signed with APR.
Since then, he has become a regular starter for the team and has helped lead them to numerous championships. He is highly regarded for his defensive skills but also has great offensive abilities. He is a true leader on the court and is always looking to make the team better.
Prince Chinenye Ibeh is a great example of someone who has used a combination of hard work and dedication to achieve success in the sport he loves.
16. Joe Ingles
Joseph Howarth Ingles is an accomplished basketball player currently playing for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is also a proud representative of his native Australia, playing on the Australian national team.
His primary position on the court is small forward, where he has achieved a great deal of success. He is particularly well-known for his long-range shooting and is the all-time leader in three-pointers made for the Utah Jazz.
He has shown remarkable consistency in his shooting and is a valuable asset to any team.
17. Liz Cambage
Elizabeth Folake Cambage is an accomplished professional basketball player hailing from Australia. She currently plays for the Maccabi Bnot Ashdod of the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League.
Cambage is renowned for her impressive basketball skills and was able to set a WNBA single-game scoring record on July 17th, 2018 when she scored 53 points against the New York Liberty. This record was tied by A’ja Wilson, another WNBA star.
This impressive performance is indicative of Cambage’s skill and talent as a basketball player and has earned her widespread recognition in the basketball world.
18. Ed Davender
Ed Davender was an exceptional basketball player who was renowned for his ability to play streetball. He was a shooting guard who was considered to be one of the best New York high school players of his time.
Davender began his basketball career at Alexander Hamilton High School in Brooklyn. During his time there, Davender put up an impressive average of 29 points per game, until the school sadly closed down.
It is clear that Davender was an exceptionally talented player, and his presence will be sorely missed in the basketball community.
19. Andrew Lawrence
Andrew Derek Lawrence is a British basketball player currently playing for the Surrey Scorchers of the British Basketball League.
He was born in London and attended college in Charleston, where he earned a spot on the all-SoCon second team for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013.
During his college career, Lawrence demonstrated an impressive commitment to the game, displaying a strong work ethic and a dedication to improving his skills.
He had a successful career in college, and he has continued to excel as a professional player with the Surrey Scorchers. His hard work and dedication have led to him becoming a key player for the team and a key contributor to their success.
He is an example of what can be achieved with a commitment to excellence and hard work.
The UK has produced some of the best NBA players in recent years. The likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and, more recently, R.J. Barrett have all proven to be excellent players in the NBA and have represented the UK with pride.
With the likes of these players, it is clear that the UK is producing some of the best basketball talent in the world and is a country to watch out for in the future..
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