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Percentage Of College Basketball Players That Go Pro

By Biraj Khanal / 20 September 2023 04:48 AM

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Percentage Of College Basketball Players That Go Pro is 1.2% with 18,816 participants in 2023. An estimated 0.02% of high school players play in the NBA.

The information provided is from the study conducted by the NCAA officials in April of 2020 with only 3.5% of high school players estimated to play at the collegiate level.

The National Collegiate Association creates several talents every year offering multiple sports including football, baseball, basketball, softball, hockey, and soccer.

The chances of collegiate players being pro is less compared to the high school players who are able to play NCAA college basketball.

With 20 million youth players, only 25000 can have the chance to play in NCAA D1 tournaments and less than 500 players can reach their professional major league level.

What Percentage Of College Basketball Players Make It To The NBA?

Percentage Of College Basketball Players Make It To The NBA is estimated at 1.2% for men and 0.8% for women.

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NCAA always looks after the youth players who can grow further and bring in the most talented youngsters into the limelight.

Almost many players dream of getting into the collegiate level advancing from high school level. Only less than 40% of players can make it through the NCAA college-based level and only less than 2% of players can make it to the major professional league.

As per Statista, In 2022, the percentage of black players in NBA was more than that of the white players which is 71.8%. 

Meanwhile, the percentage of white players in NBA was limited to 17.4% of the NBA players that come every year.

On 20 April 2020, in a survey taken by the NCAA, among student-athletes about their expectancy of moving on to gain their professional sports career, there was a surprising result which popped out from the study.

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Here are the results that popped out from the research regarding pursuing a collegiate career after high school:

  • Total number of High School Participants - 540,769
  • Total No of NCAA Participants - 18,816
  • Overall High School to NCAA Percentage - 3.5%
  • % High School to NCAA D1 - 1.0%
  • % High School to NCAA D2 - 1.0%
  • % High School to NCAA D3 - 1.4%

Here is another result regarding the NCAA participants who can make it to the NBA and become pros:

  • Total No of NCAA Participants - 18,816
  • Approximate No of Draft Eligible - 4,181
  • No of Draft Picks - 60
  • No NCAA players drafted - 52
  • Percentage of NCAA To Major League - 1.2%
  • Percentage of NCAA To Total pro - 21%

All the results and the information provided are from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's official website mentioned above.

Odds Of Making It To The NBA

Odds of making it to the NBA is a prohibitive 1: 3,333 against with two players drafted from each college every year.

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With the decreasing rate of players joining the NBA from the collegiate level, the odds are rare for the players to join the major tournaments in the NBA. 

More than 500,000 high school players play basketball at a younger age and around 3.2% which is 16000 are capable of making an appearance in any of the NCAA three divisions.

And the odds show that 0.6875% of the players make at least one NBA appearance in their professional career with the NBA players drafting a total of 60 spots every year.

Even though the spots are fixed in the draft that doesn't guarantee you a single game in the NBA game.

Climbing up to the top in the major league requires consistent hard work, determination, baseball skills and talent, and many other things and the odds of playing in the NBA are decisively low for the NCAA players.

In the present context, every player grinds hard to be dominant in every aspect of the game and their attributes which can carry them into the limelight, increasing their chances of getting drafted with their games guaranteed. 

But the odds are low for the collegiate players to make it into the NBA.

Percentage Of College Athletes That Go Pro

Percentage of College athletes that go pro is limited to fewer than 2% as of a study by the NCAA in 2020.

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Seeing fewer student-athletes going on to be professional athletes in their careers, many other students tend to focus on their academic studies to be ready for hardship in life after college. 

Education is important. But there are more than 480,000 students who are from collegiate with some of them going pro shortly. 

Here is the estimated probability of players in NCAA and high school players going pro in different sports:


  • Total number of Collegiate student participants - 73,712
  • Players Eligible for Draft - 16,380
  • Draft Picks - 254
  • Percentage of players going pro - 1.6%


  • Total number of Collegiate student participants - 36000
  • Players Eligible for Draft - 8002
  • Draft Picks - 1217
  • NCAA players drafted - 791
  • Percentage of players going pro - 9.9%

Ice Hockey

  • Total number of Collegiate student participants - 4323
  • Players Eligible for Draft - 961
  • Draft Picks - 217
  • NCAA players drafted - 71
  • Percentage of players going pro - 7.4%

Men's Basketball

  • Total number of Collegiate student participants - 18,816
  • Players Eligible for Draft - 4181
  • Draft Picks - 60
  • NCAA players drafted - 52
  • Percentage of players going pro - 1.2%

Women's Basketball 

  • Total number of Collegiate student participants - 16,509
  • Players Eligible for Draft - 3669
  • Draft Picks - 36
  • NCAA players drafted - 31
  • Percentage of players going pro - 0.8%

Athletes playing Baseball and Ice hockey have higher chances of getting into major leagues like the NHL or MLB with draft spots being more than other sports.

Around 791 NCAA players are drafted every year in baseball with its percentage 9.9% being professional athletes.

How Many Players Get Drafted In NBA Every Year?

60 players get drafted in the NBA every year. The draft consists of two rounds with 30 picks in each round.

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The NBA draft takes place every year in late June during the offseason and is mostly dominated by college players.

Certain criteria are set for the players to be eligible for the draft every year. Players must have completed their four years and should be aged 22 to be automatically eligible.

Before 2006, the high school players were also eligible but later they were forced to wait another year after their graduation or be at least 19 years of age.

The drafted players can't be sure that they will directly play in the major league, they might be assigned to the NBA developmental league, the G league.

There are a total of 100-200 players including college players, international prospects, and early entrants every year but only 60 get selected.

It is usually determined by a lottery system for the teams that don't make the playoffs. 

If the players go undrafted, they can still sign with NBA teams as free agents or explore chances in G league or overseas tournaments.

Among the selected candidates, there are also some impactful players with a handful of players from every year's draft who can become key contributors to their teams.