Maryland is a small state, but it has produced some big-time basketball talent over the years. From superstar Victor Oladipo to rising star Markelle Fultz, the Old Line State has sent plenty of players to the NBA.
Admittedly, the state has had success churning out a number of sports stars over the years across other sports, but there might be none bigger than those that have been able to grace the professional basketball court. In recognition of their efforts, we thought we would take a look at five of the best to have played ball that are currently active and have managed to achieve something in the NBA over the years.
As part of this article, we have decided to take a look at those that are currently active players – i.e. have not yet retired from the game – and have managed to find the following five names to have each hailed from the state of Maryland in some capacity:
- Victor Oladipo
- Rudy Gay
- Markelle Fultz
- Jeff Green
- Michael Beasley
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of these individuals and highlight why they can be considered to be among some of the best!
Oladipo was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and played his high school ball at DeMatha Catholic in nearby Hyattsville. He was named McDonald’s All-American as a senior in 2010 before going on to play collegiately at Indiana University. Oladipo was the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic and quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier two-way players. He was named Most Improved Player in 2017-18 after averaging 23 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game for the Indiana Pacers. He has continued to tour America, though, throughout his career, as he has turned out for franchises including Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, and the Miami Heat – where the 30-year-old Maryland native currently finds himself playing ball at the moment.
Gay was born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Baltimore as a child and attended high school at Eastern Technical High School before transferring to Archbishop Spalding. He played two seasons of college basketball at the University of Connecticut before declaring for the 2006 NBA draft, where he was selected 8th overall by Houston Rockets before quickly being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Gay has carved out a nice career for himself as a versatile scorer and solid defender, playing for five different teams over his long NBA career. Currently at the Utah Jazz, he has played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, and the San Antonio Spurs, too.
Fultz grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and starred at DeMatha Catholic. He then committed to play college ball at the nearby University of Washington but never made it to campus, instead opting to enter the 2017 NBA draft where he was taken first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
After a promising rookie season that saw him average 23 points and 6 assists per game, Fultz has dealt with injuries and off-court issues throughout his career thus far. Nonetheless, he has become a popular prop bet for many in Maryland when he plays for the Orlando Magic in recent seasons.
Many are using Maryland sportsbooks like BetMGM where they can get exclusive bonus offers and a variety of different betting markets that can be utilized with home state man Fultz involved, such as on how many points that he is able to score, etc.
Of course, there will be some that will be excited about what the 2022/23 NBA season could be about to bring with the 24-year-old in mind, as he has shown signs of his quality in recent months. Just last season, he was able to record a career-high 15 assists in a game against the Miami Heat, having suffered a torn ACL the year before that saw him miss out on a lot of basketball.
Green was born in Cheverly, Maryland, and played his high school ball at Northwestern High School in Prince George’s County. He then went on to have a successful four-year collegiate career at Georgetown University before being drafted fifth overall by Boston in 2007.
Green has bounced around the league throughout his career – having played for teams including the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, and presently the Denver Nuggets – but has been a productive player when healthy, including serving as a key rotation player for the Houston Rockets during their run to the 2020 Western Conference Finals.
Beasley grew up in Prince George’s County in Cheverly, Maryland, and played his high school ball at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts before going on to star collegiately at Kansas State University.
Beasley was taken second overall by Miami in 2008 and became one of the league’s most proficient scorers early on in his career, averaging more than 19 points per game during his first four seasons in the league. However, off-court issues and concerns about his work ethic have plagued Beasley throughout his career and he has not been able to stick with any one team for very long; something that appears to have limited his opportunities in the NBA in recent years as his last team was the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2018/19 season before having opportunities overseas.
Although it may be small, Maryland has produced some serious basketball talent over the years. From Victor Oladipo to Rudy Gay to Markelle Fultz, these five players have all made their mark on the NBA throughout their careers for various reasons and many of them will be remembered for a while to come; here is hoping that there are many more top players from Maryland yet to come as this great state certainly deserves to be represented as much as possible!