05 February 2009

Utah and hoops talent

ESPN's Truehoop blog features an interesting NBA-related concept: territorial-based teams. In a nutshell, what if players could only play for the team in the region of the country they grew up in?

A blogger in Philly spent forever compiling the data and came up with some interesting results.

New York's team:

PG Ben Gordon (Mount Vernon, NY)
SG Ron Artest (Queens, NY)
SF Lamar Odom (South Jamaica, NY)
PF Elton Brand (Peekskill, NY)/Ryan Gomes (Waterbury, CT)
C Charlie Villanueva (Queens, NY)

And Portland:

PG Jason Terry (Seattle, WA)/Rodney Stuckey (Kent, WA)
SG Brandon Roy (Seattle, WA)
SF Jamal Crawford (Seattle, WA)
PF Marvin Williams (Bremerton, WA)
C Carlos Boozer (Juneau, AK)

But what I found most interesting is that the only Utah native this guy could feasibly put on the Jazz was the retired Ute grad Keith Van Horn, and he was born and raised in California.

I've theorized that the Wasatch Front contains more basketball hoops per capita than any other region in the country. Between hoops in every other driveway and courts in every LDS church, it's apparent there's no lack of interest in the game among the young men of Utah. Junior Jazz is a big organization, and the state has three Div-1 basketball schools.

Yet we can't field a solid NBA player to save our lives.

Do we attribute it to race? Are white boys just doomed to a life of basketball mediocrity? Or is it something else, like the effect of LDS missions on kids with promising talent?

It's an interesting question.

No comments: