Skip to content

What Percentage of College Basketball Players Go to the NBA?

From College to the NBA

Lots of kids grow up playing basketball with dreams to someday make it in the NBA, however, that dream is rarely a reality.

Out of the thousands upon thousands of male athletes who play basketball in high school, only a fraction move on to compete in the NCAA. In a study by the NCAA in April 2020, of the 540,769 male high school basketball athletes, 18,816 moved on to play in college, or 3.5%. That number shrinks to 1%  when you specify to Division 1 schools.

What percentage of college basketball players go to the NBA?
Rebecca Noble/Getty Images/AFP

Making it to the pros is more of a challenge, as of those 18,816, only 1.2% make the jump from the NCAA to the NBA.

When it comes to women and the WNBA the odds are as long, if not longer. Though female high school athletes have a slightly larger number of making it to the NCAA than males, the number is smaller when it comes to pros.

Of the 399,067 female high school basketball players, 4.1% or 16,509 of them, go on to play in college. That number goes to 1.3% when you look at Division 1 schools.

Despite women getting more opportunities in college, the WNBA is different, given it has fewer teams and a smaller roster than the NBA. Out of those 16,509 women who get the opportunity to play in college, only 0.8% play in the WNBA, according to the NCAA study.

So, it’s pretty safe to say these players are the best of the best.

Featured Picks

Related News