For most NBA players, college is the place where they take the final steps in improving their game before making the jump to the NBA. Playing competitively at the collegiate level allows players to learn the finer points of the game, and learn how to play well in a system suited to complement their talents and the talents of their teammates.
A lot of colleges have become powerhouses when it comes to providing superstar talent for the NBA. Duke, Memphis, and Gonzaga are some of the many elite college programs that have provided the NBA with some of the best players we have ever seen.
But one college that does not get mentioned in the same breath nearly as much as it should is Kentucky. Over the last decade, Kentucky has served as the proving ground for many NBA talents who are dominating the game today. Many of these players have become All-Stars, and are set to become superstars in the league over the years to come.
In the 2010s, Kentucky was the home of John Wall, Boogie Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Julius Randle, Dejounte Murray, Bam Adebayo, Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, PJ Washington, Tyrese Maxey, and Immanuel Quickley among many others.
Davis, Booker, and Towns are without a doubt the best players among this group. Whereas players like Randle, Wall, Cousins, have been All-Stars in the league but struggled with injuries. There are also some young stars like Herro, Shai, Maxey, Quickley, and Adebayo who are looking really good and could become All-Stars in the future.
Does Kentucky deserve more recognition as a collegiate program that creates NBA stars? The list above makes a great argument for it. But we will have to wait and see the next crop of superstars that come through from Kentucky to see whether the last decade was an anomaly or the truth.