Turns out Mary­land re­ally is home to most of the top bas­ket­ball tal­ent.

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - ALLMETSPORTS BY JA­COB BOGAGE ja­cob.bogage@wash­post.com Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/allmetsports

The state of Mary­land has al­ways been a hot­bed for high school bas­ket­ball tal­ent.

Just how much of a hot­bed? Be­tween 2013 and 2016, 5 per­cent of the state’s boys’ bas­ket­ball play­ers were re­cruited to play Divi­sion I bas­ket­ball — the high­est level of col­lege bas­ket­ball — ac­cord­ing to data from the NCAA re­search cen­ter.

Mary­land had the high­est pro­por­tion of any state.

This is not nec­es­sar­ily a sur­prise to bas­ket­ball sa­vants. For years they have been putting to­gether the ul­ti­mate all-Mary­land NBA team.

Those with Mary­land ties in­clude cur­rent pro bas­ket­ball stars Kevin Du­rant (born in the Dis­trict but went to Mon­trose Chris­tian), Carmelo An­thony (born in New York but went to high school in Bal­ti­more), Rudy Gay (Bal­ti­more), Vic­tor Oladipo (Sil­ver Spring), Roy Hib­bert (Rockville) and Jeff Green (Chev­erly).

That group may have com­pany soon. Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton fresh­man Markelle Fultz, a point guard who is a DeMatha grad­u­ate, is the odds-on bet to be one of the top two picks in the NBA draft in June.

Mary­land’s clos­est com­peti­tors for pro­duc­ing Divi­sion I tal­ent are North Carolina at 3.6 per­cent and Ge­or­gia and Nevada, both at 3 per­cent.

Vir­ginia is fifth among states for ex­port­ing boys re­cruits at 2.8 per­cent.

The num­bers hold up for the girls’ game as well; 4.5 per­cent of Mary­land girls play­ers be­tween 2013 and 2016 went on to play Divi­sion I bas­ket­ball.

That, too, was the high­est of any state. Ten­nessee fin­ished sec­ond (4.1 per­cent).

“I think our area does a good job of bal­anc­ing the com­pet­i­tive at­mos­phere of how sports has got­ten with teach­ing,” Rock Creek Chris­tian boys’ Coach Chris­tian Cole said.

Coaches in Mary­land, both at the high school and Ama­teur Ath­letic Union lev­els, have be­come so adept and send­ing play­ers to the col­lege ranks, they’ve set­tled into a groove on how to pre­pare play­ers for the at­mos­phere there on and off the court.

Five per­cent is the largest pro­por­tion of play­ers from around the coun­try, but it still means 95 per­cent of Mary­land high school bas­ket­ball play­ers will at best play Divi­sion II hoops.

And when it comes time to pick a col­lege, Cole said he tries to get play­ers to mo­men­tar­ily set bas­ket­ball aside.

“They need to pick a school,” Cole said. “They need to be happy with­out bas­ket­ball.”

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