Odds of a High School Athlete playing Pro Sports Scholarship
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What are the odds of a high school athlete making a pro roster?  Well for every 1,860 US high school basketball players  only 1 will end up on an NBA roster.  Here are the odds of going pro for 4 major sports:
       
1,860 : 1 764 : 1 603 : 1 835 : 1
 NBA Basketball MLB Baseball NFL Football MLS Soccer
       
       
Methodology & Notes:

  Basketball odds Baseball odds Football odds Soccer odds
High School Players *      541,054   1 : 1             482,629   1 : 1        1,122,024   1 : 1        417,419   1 : 1 
 College Players       32,190   17 : 1               55,410   9 : 1             90,136   12 : 1          37,890   11 : 1 
NCAA I players         5,485   99 : 1               10,359   47 : 1             27,467   41 : 1           5,750   73 : 1 
Pro Players  **            450   1,860 : 1                1,200   764 : 1              1,696   603 : 1              560   835 : 1 
                 
** Pro Players NBA 2015 MLB 2015 NFL 2015 MLS 2015
Number of teams 30 30 32 20
Roster limit 15 40 53 28
Total Pro Players         450            1,200          1,696          560
% of non-US players 22.4% 26.3% 4.1% 28.6%
Average Career length *** 4.8 5.6 3.5 3.2

Click here for:  Odds of a Female high school athlete playing Pro Sports

*  High school data is from the 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
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** Odds of a randomly selected high school athlete going pro are adjusted by the percentage of international players and the average pro career length for each sport. This is necessary to make a valid comparison with the base data of  4 years of US high school athletes.

*** Average career length is based on 2013 study by Sports Interaction.

 
Many foreign student athletes compete on U.S. college varsity teams and may not be reflected as US high school participants. This factor may result in computed participation percentages for many sports that are artificially high. Here is a summary of foreign student (non-resident alien) participation on NCAA I varsity teams per the NCAA 2013-14 Race & Gender Demographics Database:
    % of foreign athletes
Sport - NCAA I Member Schools        Men     Women  
Tennis 32.3% 30.4%
Ice Hockey 21.0% 26.9%
Skiing 17.9% 17.8%
Squash 14.7% 15.2%
Golf 12.2% 15.8%
Field Hockey                  - 10.2%
Soccer 12.1% 4.9%
Water Polo 6.8% 6.9%
Basketball 6.1% 4.4%
Swimming 5.9% 5.8%
Fencing 4.7% 6.5%
NCAA I Average   4.5% 5.6%
Sand Volleyball                  - 5.2%
Rowing 4.3% 2.8%
Volleyball 4.1% 4.5%
Cross Country 4.0% 3.3%
Track & Field 3.6% 3.4%
Lacrosse 3.0% 0.9%
Gymnastics 1.4% 4.3%
Rifle                  - 3.3%
Bowling                  - 2.5%
Synchronized Swimming                  - 2.4%
Equestrian                  - 1.1%
Softball                  - 0.9%
Baseball 0.8%                        -
Sailing 0.4% 2.2%
Football 0.4%                        -
Wrestling 0.2%                        -
Rugby                  -                        -
       

 

          
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