Who are the Duke Players in The NBA? (5 Examples)

Many players in the NBA come from different collegiate associations. However, several athletes in the professional basketball scene come from the Duke University, which is a private institution in Durham, North Carolina. Some of the Duke players in the NBA range from Allen Grayson to Seth Curry to name a few.

What is the Duke in Basketball?

Duke in Basketball

The Duke or the Duke Blue Devils are teams from intercollegiate associations, representing the Duke University. Located in Durham, North Carolina, The Blue Devils refers to the school’s 27 varsity teams that compete at the Division I level.

Aside from basketball, players from The Duke also come from other sports, including football, baseball, tennis, and wrestling, to name a few physical activities.

The Duke’s men’s basketball team, specifically the Duke University men’s basketball program by head coach Mike Krzyzewski, is the fourth winningest college team in the history of the sport. Since 1980, the Blue Devils have won the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship five times. They have also been the top overall seed in the ACC Tournament 19 times. Duke is also third in the country in total weeks as the top team in the poll.

5 Duke Players in the NBA

Several players in the NBA come from the Duke Blue Devils. Here’s a list of those players that were playing in the 2020 to 2021 NBA season.

1. Allen Grayson – Memphis Grizzlies


During his freshman season at Duke, Allen averaged 4.4 points per game. He was named to the ACC’s all-academic team. On April 7, 2015, he led the team to its fifth national title. In the 2015 to 2016 season, Grayson Allen was one of the ACC’s best offensive players, averaging 21 points per game. He shot 41% from three-point range and made 83.7% of his foul shots.

Allen was one of the top returnees in college basketball entering his junior season. He was selected as the ACC’s preseason player of the year and was named to the All-America team. Additionally, he averaged 14.4 points and 36.5% from beyond the arc in 2016.

In July 2019, the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Allen from the Utah Jazz.

2. Marvin Bagley III – Sacramento Kings

Five-star recruit Marvin Bagley was rated as the top player in the 2017 high school class before his reclassification. Plus, He was the top player in the 2018 recruiting class. He was able to enroll at Duke University during the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball season.

He made his Duke debut on November 9, 2017, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a victory over Elon University. About two weeks later since his debut, he became the first player in school history to record 15 rebounds in a game. Four days later after acquiring that achievement, he tied the freshman record for points and became the first player in school history to record 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game.

Throughout the regular season, Bagley was recognized as the ACC’s Rookie of The Year, as well as the ACC’s Player of the Year. He also achieved a consensus All-American First-team member by various organizations.

After Duke’s loss to Virginia in the Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Marvin Bagley III announced that he would forgo his final three seasons with the school and declare for the NBA draft.

3. RJ Barrett – New York Knicks

In his first preseason game on August 15, 2018, Rowan Alexander ‘RJ’ Barrett, Jr. scored 34 points and collected five rebounds in an 8667 victory over the Ryerson University Rams. On November 6, 2018, he became the first Duke freshman to score 33 points in a regular-season game.

On January 12, 2019, Barrett surpassed the 30-point mark for the second time this season, scoring 32 points in a win over Florida State. On February 17, he recorded his third career triple-double, scoring 23 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists in a win over North Carolina State.

In the team’s first-round win over North Dakota State, Barrett led the way in both points and rebounds. He finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Following Duke’s loss to Virginia in the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, star forward RJ Barrett declared for the 2019 NBA draft.

4. Vernon Carey, Jr. – Charlotte Hornets

Vernon Carey, Jr. is a player for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA. Before the start of the 2019 to 2020 season, Carey was on various preseason lists. He was also considered for the John R. Wooden Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lute Olson Award.

Carey recorded his first double-digit rebounding game of the season on November 12th, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a win over Central Arkansas. He would go on to score a career-high 31 points and grab 12 rebounds in another win over California on November 21st.

Carey scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots in an 86775 win against Michigan State on December 3. He followed that up with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Wofford on December 19. Carey declared his 2020 NBA draft following the 2019 to 2020 season.

5. Seth Curry – Philadelphia 76ers

Seth Curry – Philadelphia 76ers

The younger brother of Stephen ‘Steph’ Curry, Seth Curry is another American professional NBA player that came from the Duke.

After transferring from Liberty University in 2008, Curry spent his first season at Duke. He sat out the 2009 to 2010 season due to transfer regulations. As a redshirt sophomore, Curry started after Kyrie Irving suffered a toe injury. He led the team in scoring with 17.4 points per game.

Curry entered the NBA and into the Santa Cruz Warriors. After going through numerous teams, such as the Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns, he’s currently playing for and with the Philadelphia 76ers as the team’s guard.

Aside from the players mentioned above, other NBA athletes that came from the Duke include:

Final Words

NBA players like Marvin Bagley III and RJ Barrett come from a private college institution called the Duke University. Located in Durham, North Carolina, this university has different collegiate sports programs, including baseball, soccer, and, of course, basketball.

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