One of the major developments in the NBA over the last decade has been the rise of international players on NBA rosters. As early as 10 years ago, very few teams had scouts overseas. With players like Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Arvydas Sabonis and Toni Kukoc making an impact in the league, teams stepped up their efforts to find the next great hidden talent. As a result, a record nine international players were selected in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft, and a record 21 were taken overall.

The Spurs, however, seem to discover international talent better than any other team in the league. How, you ask? Luck may play a bit part, as Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich alludes to when talking about Manu Ginobili, the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft: “The draft came along and it was in the 50's [late in the second round]. And there was nobody who was going to make our team there anyway, and this guy was the most athletic, so we said, 'Let’s draft him.’ But we did not know he was going to become what he is today. That would have been a real stretch.”

The Spurs have continued to mine gold in the later stages of the draft. This year, the Spurs selected Slovenia's Beno Udrih (December's got milk? Rookie of the Month) with the 28th pick in the first round, the exact same position they selected Tony Parker only three years earlier. In 2002, San Antonio tabbed Luis Scola -- a member of the 2004 gold-medal winning Olympic team currently playing in Argentina -- with the 56th overalll pick.

In honor of the international players on the Spurs' 27-7 roster, take a trip through their worldwide lineup with some quirky facts about these players' homelands:

Tim Duncan (Forward/Center)
Season Averages: 21.9 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 2.6 APG
Homeland: U.S. Virgin Islands
Did you know? Think the U.S. Virgin Island's 117 miles of coastline had anything to do with Tim Duncan's love of swimming as a youngster? Duncan didn't take up basketball until ninth grade, having focused on the 400 freestyle before his local pool was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. His sister, Tricia, was a member of the Virgin Islands swim team in the 1988 Olympics.

Season Averages: 14.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.0 APG
Homeland: Argentina
Did you know? The weather in Argentina, South America's second largest country, is as wild as Ginobili's seemingly out-of-control style of play. The northern region is hot and humid, experiencing summer temperatures in the 90s F (32 C), while the southern most portion of the country tends to be cold and rainy with temperatures dipping well below freezing in the winter.

Sean Marks (Forward/Center)
Season Averages: 10.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.3 APG (21.9 PRA)
Homeland: New Zealand
Did you know? It's fitting that Marks, born and raised in New Zealand, would don black and silver for his chosen profession. The "All Blacks," one of the top teams in the world of rugby, proudly wear the easily-recognizable black jerseys with the silver fern when playing New Zealand's national game. Coincidentally, the international hoops team operates under the name, the "Tall Blacks."

Rasho Nesterovic (Center), Beno Udrih (Guard)
Nesterovic Season Averages: 5.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.0 APG
Udrih Season Averages: 6.0 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 2.1 APG
Homeland: Slovenia
Did you know? Rasho and Beno are teammates on the 2004 Slovenian National Team -- along with Bostjan Nachbar (New Orleans Hornets) and Primoz Brezec (Charlotte Bobcats) -- that has qualified for the 2005 European Championship. This summer, Udrih was named MVP of the Efes World Cup tournament in Turkey, leading Slovenia to a 4-0 record with averages of 16.8 points and 4.8 assists.

Tony Parker (Guard)
Season Averages: 14.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.7 APG
Homeland: France
Did you know? Like the fine Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône from the world's top wine producing country, Tony Parker continues to get better with age. Though far less experienced than the winemakers of France -- the process has existed there for over 2,000 years -- Parker has seen improvement through each of his four seasons in the NBA. Parker's fast-paced style of play proves there's just some things not meant to be bottled.

Romain Sato (Guard)
Season Averages: 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG
Homeland: Republic of Central Africa
Did you know? Nearly 70 languages are spoken in The Republic of Central Africa -- a landlocked country slightly smaller than Texas, located in the middle of Africa -- with French listed as the country's official language. Sato speaks English and French as well as four languages native to Africa: Gkadiri, Sango, Swahili and Yakoma.

Photo Credits: Duncan and Udrih by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images, Ginobili by Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images, Marks by Stu Foster/Getty Images, Nesterovic by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images, Parker by Chris Birck/NBAE/Getty Images, Sato by Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images.