The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Tuesday that 100 international players from 37 countries and territories are on opening night rosters for the 2015-16 season, marking the second consecutive year that opening night rosters feature at least 100 international players.
Most impressively there are a record 10 African players on rosters this upcoming campaign. These are Luc Mbah a Moute, Joel Embiid, Walter Tavares, Serge Ibaka, Emmanuel Mudiay, Bismack Biyombo, Festus Ezeli, Gorgui Dieng, Luol Deng and Salah Mejri. All of these players come from eight different countries from the African continent.
There are also a record nine Brazilian players on opening night rosters. Canada has the most of any country for the second straight year with a record-tying 12 NBA players.
France comes in second for the second consecutive year with 10 NBA players. Australia features a record-tying eight players, while Croatia and Spain round out the top five with four NBA players each.
For the second consecutive year, all 30 NBA teams feature at least one international player.
The Toronto Raptors lead the league with seven international players, while the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz each feature six.
The Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets field five each, while the rosters of the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic each include four.
The NBA’s 70th season begins on Tuesday night. In the first game, the Cavaliers visit the Bulls.
The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors (three international players) then host the New Orleans Pelicans (two international players). The Detroit Pistons (three international players) visit the Hawks.
A number of high-profile international players will make their NBA debut during opening week, including:
• Mario Hezonja (Croatia) and the Magic hosting the Washington Wizards, Wednesday the October the 28th.
• Emmanuel Mudiay (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the Nuggets visiting the Houston Rockets, Wednesday the October the 28th.
• Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia) and the Knicks taking on the Bucks in Milwaukee, Wednesday the October the 28th.
NBA rosters at the start of the 2014-15 season featured a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories.
The league has established a major international presence, with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories and 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125 000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.
Below are Pictures of the African players in the NBA