The German basketball Bundesliga is becoming more and more German and younger and younger as BBL officials announced that 56.4 percent of the players in the league have a German passport. And of those players, more than three-quarters of them are 24 years or younger.

Of the 284 players on the 18 team rosters, 166 of them have a German passport, according to numbers the BBL released on October 6, 2011 as of September 29. That is a 3.1 percent increase from 161 for the 2010-11 season. The second-most represented nation of the 15 total countries is the United States with 101 players or 34.3 percent.

Those figures show that Germany’s efforts to give the league more of a German face are working. This season teams are required to have five players with German passports for a 12-man game roster or four Germans with 10- or 11-man squads. For the 2012-13 season, those requirements will go up to 4-5-6 for squads with 10, 11 or 12 players respectively.

A couple of seasons ago, German basketball officials instituted a U24 money fund which rewarded teams financially for playing Germans aged 24 and under. That fund has since been eliminated but the clubs have found it very attractive to give young German players playing time. The number of U24 Germans (born 1988 or later) this season is 126 – or six more than the 2010-11 season. That figure is 75.9 percent of all Germans on BBL teams.

Not including the games Bremerhaven vs Alba Berlin (on 9 October) and Artland Dragons vs Tübingen (19 October), German players received 25.65 percent of the total minutes played on the first game day of the season.

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