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Power Ranking The United States By Basketball Achievement (20-11)

This started as a heated debate in one of my many basketball group chats. It spurred this grand idea that I knew would take a LONG time. Well, here we are.


A couple of very important things to preface. These are based on a variety of factors that include but are not limited to basketball history, NCAA men's wins, titles, impact on the game, and a whole lot more. To make it as fair as possible for players from a particular state and for where a title was won for a professional franchise, it had to be where the player was physically born and where the title was physically won at that time. Now that these caveats are laid out, enjoy part four, and if you disagree or love where your team is ranked let me know on Twitter.


If you are wondering if your state has been listed so far:


20.) Washington D.C

Washington Wizards DC Hand Basketball Logo

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 4,495-4,048

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Washington Wizards, Capital City Go-Go, Washington Mystics

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 1

Notable Players: Elgin Baylor, Kevin Durant, Adrian Dantley, Dave Bing, Austin Carr, Thurl Bailey


The DMV is a rich and strongly represented region for basketball as you will see in this edition of the series. Washington D.C although not a state, has quite the basketball resume to be considered for this power ranking. The district has three championships to show for with an NBA title from the Bullets, an NCAA men's title from Georgetown, and a WNBA title from the Mystics. What D.C should be most proud of however is its cream of the crop notable players list. Elgin Baylor was an NBA legend in his day for the Lakers. Adrian Dantley and Dave Bing are both Hall of Famers. Austin Carr was the number-one overall pick in 1971 and Thurl Bailey had a very solid twelve-year NBA career.


Oh yeah, they also have this guy named Kevin Durant.


19.) Maryland

Dematha High School NBA Players Graphic
Courtesy of Kevin Robbs

Men's Division One Programs: 9

Men's Division One Record: 7,048-7,602

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 1


Professional Teams: College Park Skyhawks

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Steve Francis, Sam Cassell, Victor Oladipo, Jeff Green, Muggsy Bogues, Len Bias


The State of Maryland's basketball lore is rooted in the history and achievement of Morgan Wooten and DeMatha Catholic High School. Wooten began coaching at DeMatha in 1956, coached the Stags for forty-six years, and finished with a 1,274-192 career record. The notable players from Maryland are household names in and out of the state. From the shortest player in NBA history Muggsy Bogues to one of the biggest "What Ifs" in basketball history in Len Bias, Maryland has produced a fair share of talent. When you combine all of that with three titles (1948 Baltimore Bullets, 2002 Maryland Terrapins Men, and 2006 Maryland Terrapins Women), the state of Maryland has strong basketball prowess.


18.) Washington

Seattle Supersonics Tower Logo
Courtesy of SportsLogos.Net

Men's Division One Programs: 5

Men's Division One Record: 6,192-4,695

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Seattle Storm

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 4

Notable Players: John Stockton, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Zach LaVine, Paolo Banchero


Washington residents and/or fans, I am so sorry about the image above. It does not pain me as much as it does you, but I want basketball in Seattle too. I am on your side in this fight. The NBA title in 1979 helps the state's resume for this list even if the team isn't currently located in Washington. Regardless, a lot of really great things going for Washington in the basketball world.


The Storm have won four WNBA titles in the league's short twenty-six-year history. With players like Swin Cash, Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, and Lauren Jackson all playing for the franchise, the Storm has had a great history of great players to go along with the four championships. The five men's college basketball programs in the state have put up a strong record that is north of .500 and over 6,100 wins. Not to mention a list of players that include John Stockton, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Zach LaVine, and Paolo Banchero is something to be proud of.


17.) Virginia

Allen Iverson wearing blue 76ers jersey on the cover of Slam Magazine
Courtesy of Andscape

Men's Division One Programs: 14

Men's Division One Record: 12,487-11,544-1

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 1


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Moses Malone, Allen Iverson, Jerome Kersey, Ralph Sampson, Alonzo Mourning


For not having any professional teams, Virginia means business when it comes to hoops. When seventeen-year NBA veteran Jerome Kersey is the worst player from your state, you've got some talent! Not to mention four Hall of Famers including three great big men in Moses Malone, Ralph Sampson, and Alonzo Mourning, and one of my personal favorite players of all time who changed the NBA, Allen Iverson. When you account for three championships, over 12,000 NCAA men's division one wins, and 14 programs, you have a strong basketball resume to be proud of Virginia.


16.) Louisiana

Angel Reese pointing at her ring finger
Courtesy of The Gazette

Men's Division One Programs: 12

Men's Division One Record: 9,779-9,601

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 3


Professional Teams: New Orleans Pelicans

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Bill Russell, Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Elvin Hayes, Willis Reed, Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars


The State of Louisiana is fresh in basketball fans' minds because of the LSU Tigers women's college basketball team winning the national championship over the Iowa Hawkeyes. Women's basketball is one of Louisiana's strongest points on its basketball ranking resume. Louisiana Tech won the first women's college basketball title game in 1982, another one in 1988, and then LSU this year won the state's third championship. However, Louisiana also features six players featured on the NBA's top 75 list which includes Bill Russell who was one of the most influential basketball players of all time. They also have two-time NBA champion, Hall of Famer, and bad boy Piston Joe Dumars. Louisiana takes its hoops seriously and has the resume to back that up.


15.) Kansas

Kansas Jayhawks Mascot
Courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Men's Division One Programs: 3

Men's Division One Record: 5,759-3,352

Men's Division One National Titles: 4

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Alvan Adams, Earl Watson, Larry Drew, Lionel Hollins


If you asked a group of college basketball fans to name a state that they think of when they think of college basketball, Kansas would be very high on the list. To better understand the history, we have to acknowledge that Dr. James Naismith was the first men's basketball coach in the University of Kansas's history. However, he invented the sport of basketball in Massachusetts and not in Kansas as a lot of people have commonly believed. It is still very relevant to basketball history in Kansas.


In regards to the success on the court, the Kansas Jayhawks have won the state's four national championships and are the winningest men's college basketball program in the country. When you add their wins with Kansas State and Wichita State, the state combines for over 5,700 wins. With a few notable NBA role players, when you add everything up for Kansas, the state has quite the basketball resume.


14.) Florida

Florida Gators Mens Basketball team holding up national championship trophy
Courtesy of Gators Wire- USA Today

Men's Division One Programs: 13

Men's Division One Record: 8,699-9,109

Men's Division One National Titles: 2

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Osceola Magic

NBA Titles: 3

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: David Robinson, Mitch Richmond, Gilbert Arenas, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter


The State of Florida is a very intriguing place for basketball at the high school level right now. Florida is home to some of the most talented boy's high school basketball programs in the country like IMG Academy, Montverde Academy, Columbus (Miami), and so many others. At the college level, two national championships from the Florida Gators in back-to-back years in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and over 8,600 division one men's wins is something to be proud of. In the NBA, the Orlando Magic have been an exciting team for many years and have a bright future with their current core. The Miami Heat have three NBA titles to be proud of. Florida also has a very talented group of players that includes David Robinson who was an MVP in the NBA and famous NBA cousins, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter.


13.) Tennessee

Pat Summitt holding a basketball
Courtesy of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Men's Division One Programs: 12

Men's Division One Record: 11,483-9,190-2

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 8


Professional Teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Hustle

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Lou Williams, Oscar Robertson, J.J Redick, Penny Hardaway, Cameron Payne


The very first thing or person you should think of when you think of basketball in the State of Tennessee is Pat Summitt. She won eight NCAA titles during her time at the University of Tennessee. The State of Tennessee has her and the lady volunteers to thank for the state's eight titles. On the men's college basketball side, there is no title success but twelve programs combining for over 11,000 wins all time is awe-inspiring. In the NBA, the Grizzlies have been a competitive team since moving to Memphis in 2001. When you account for notable players, any list that has Oscar Robertson on it is a good representation. To go along with Oscar, Lou Williams was a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner and J.J. Redick, Penny Hardaway, and Cameron Payne were all solid NBA contributors in their careers.


12.) Michigan

Bad Boy Pistons Team
Courtesy of FiveThirtyEight

Men's Division One Programs: 7

Men's Division One Record: 8,075-6,813

Men's Division One National Titles: 3

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Detroit Pistons, Motor City Cruise, Grand Rapids Gold

NBA Titles: 3

WNBA Titles: 3

Notable Players: Devin Booker, George Gervin, Chris Webber, Magic Johnson, Draymond Green


The two things that I think about when it comes to basketball for the State of Michigan are passion and championships. Whether it is pride from guys like Magic Johnson who are proud Michigan natives and alumni of universities in the state or fans of teams and programs in the state, the people are die-hards. Passionate natives unfortunately are not something I could quantify for this list so championships are a great thing that Michigan brings to the basketball conversation.


The Detroit "Bad Boy" Pistons led by Isiah Thomas won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990 and the 2004 Pistons team led by Chauncey Billups won as well giving the state three NBA titles. The Michigan State Spartans won in 1979 led by Magic Johnson and in 2000 led by Mateen Cleaves and the Michigan Wolverines won in 1989 led by Glen Rice. Last and certainly not least, the Detroit Shock won WNBA titles in 2003, 2006, and 2008. Michigan knows how to win.


11.) Ohio

LeBron hugging Kevin Love after winning NBA title
Courtesy of Business Insider

Men's Division One Programs: 13

Men's Division One Record: 17,249-13,211

Men's Division One National Titles: 3

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Charge

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: LeBron James, Stephen Curry, John Havlicek, Charles Oakley, CJ McCollum


Ohio boasts two very significant things for its basketball resume. The fifth most men's basketball wins as a state and having LeBron James and Stephen Curry be from your state. The men's programs also have three national championships to show for to go along with 17,249 wins and a 56.63% winning percentage. In regards to the NBA title, this one is a big deal. LeBron James returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers and leads the team to its first championship in franchise history. Notable players such as Stephen Curry and John Havlicek are two very impactful players to their teams and eras as well. I think Ohio has a heck of a resume and will surprise some people reading this list.



The Top 10: Coming Monday, July 31st!



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