There are only a seven German players in the NBA. In the early years of basketball, the German National team was not successful in the international tournaments because NBA made it near-impossible for German international players to play both in their respective NBA teams and to the German national basketball team. However, there is no stopping the Germans.
The Germans strive so hard, and specifically seven Germans were very successful because they were fortunate to be a part of the NBA.
The Very First German Player in the NBA
Frido Frey was born on October 26, 1921 in Germany. He was a professional basketball player in America, specifically in the National Basketball Association. He was the very first German player in the NBA. He attended a school named New Utrecht High school in Brooklyn where he eventually became the team captain of the said school’s basketball team.
Art Modell described him as one of the best high school basketball players in the city. Frey then entered another school, the Long Island University, and became a member of the University’s team, the Manhattan Beach Coast Guard. In the year 1946, the first German player in the NBA was drafted. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the 1946 NBA Drafts. However, his NBA career did not last long. He only played one season with the Knicks and in the NBA, in this particular season, he played 23 games and scored a total of 88 points.
The German in the NBA
John Young Brown was the second German player in the NBA, next to Frido Frey. He was born on December 14, 1951 in Frankfurt, West Germany. Before his NBA career started, Brown played collegiately at the University of Missouri. He was selected to play in the 1972 Summer Olympics, however, because of his injury he did not compete in the games.
In the 1973 NBA Drafts, John Young Brown officially became the second German player in the NBA when he was drafted tenth overall by the Atlanta Hawks. He was named to the 1974 NBA All-Rookie Team. In 1979, Brown was traded to the Utah Jazz in the middle of the season, he also played for the Chicago Bulls for one whole season and several years later, he decided to end his career in the NBA.
The Best German Player in the NBA
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is considered as one of the best basketball players today. He is also considered to be the Best German player in the NBA, so far. He was born on June 19, 1978 and is currently the best player of the Dallas Mavericks.
He also plays for the German national basketball team and led the team once gaining a silver medal in the EuroBasket 2005 where he won the tournament MVP, and a bronze medal in the 2002 FIBA World championships. He was picked ninth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1998 NBA Drafts.
He was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks and became the member of the team up until now. Nowitzki led the Mavs into ten consecutive NBA Playoffs appearance and clearly made a great impact to the team, to the Americans and especially to the Germans.