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15 Talented NBA Players From Africa or the Caribbean (Or Whose Parents Were)

Tim Duncan, St. Croix

Duncan actually wanted to be an Olympic swimmer, but Hurricane Hugo put an end to those plans when it destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in St. Croix in 1989. Duncan then turned to basketball when his family moved to the United States when he was in the ninth grade. He earned a scholarship to Wake Forest, where he became an All-American and was the No. 1 NBA Draft choice in 1997 by the San Antonio Spurs. There, he became a Hall of Famer with five championship rings, including the 2013-14 title. He’s hoping for another title run this season.

Patrick EwingPatrick Ewing, Jamaica

Ewing was born in Kingston and played soccer and cricket there until he was 12, when his family moved to Cambridge, Mass., near Boston. It was clear Ewing was not comfortable in his skin as a high school player who was taller than most everyone he encountered in America and had a Jamaican accent. But he became the No. 1 college prospect in the country. Ewing signed with Georgetown, where he was closely guarded by coach John Thompson and grew into a confident young man who went on to become one of the all-time great players and Pro Basketball Hall of Famer. He’s an assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats and hopes to become a head coach soon.

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