First Black NBA Player Dies During Black History Month. Still, the players went on to have respectable careers. He was 86. The shooting guard from Pittsburgh was an All-American selection at college and the first black player drafted in the NBA, selected by the Boston Celtics. In 1971, he became the second African-American head coach after the Celtics' Bill Russell. Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death but did not provide details. Lloyd earned his historic first NBA game distinction by virtue of his team’s schedule, otherwise it could have been possible for all of the players to have made their pro debuts at the same time. Clifton, a talented baseball and basketball player, excelled as a big man for the Knicks after attending Xavier University and fighting in the World War II. Bobby Mitchell, first black player for the Washington Redskins, dies at 84. A Black NBA Player Staged The First Boycott Over Racial Inequality 61 Years Ago, Here's What Happened. Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games. Many people do not realize that long before there was the WNBA, there was a woman who attempted to join the ranks of professional basketball.six-foot-three Lusia Harris of Delta State University was taken in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft by the New Orleans Jazz.The pick was well deserving. He was a pioneer. Clifton was well known for his charity work in the city, and the Knicks named its City Spirit Award after him.The Associated Black Charities also recognized Clifton’s many contributions. The shooting guard from Pittsburgh was an All-American selection at college and the first black player drafted in the NBA, selected by the Boston Celtics. Archie Clark was one of the first black players to get a basketball scholarship from the U. [7], This article is about the basketball player. Complete listing of all NBA Players and team rosters. Story continues. Brown selected Cooper 14th overall. He was 86. [2], Cooper was born and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also helped the Pittsburgh National Bank's affirmative action program as an urban affairs officer[9] until he died [3] at the age of 57 on February 5, 1984, of liver cancer at Forbes Hospice. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM & TWITTER. Coming out of college in 1950, he signed onto the Harlem Globetrotters. [5] He played four years with the Celtics,[3] then was traded to the Milwaukee Hawks before ending his career as a member of the Ft. Wayne Pistons. That night in St. Louis, Willie Naulls replaced the injured Tommy Heinsohn, and the Celtics had an all Black starting five, for the first time in the history of the NBA. He was 86. He was a captain for the 1949–50 team, which was the first team from the university to be nationally ranked all season, finishing with a 23-6 record and ranked sixth nationally. On April 25th, 1950, Boston Celtics owner Walter A. On April 25, 1950, he became the first African American drafted into the NBA when the Boston Celtics chose him with the 14th overall pick. Earl Lloyd, the first black player to appear in an NBA game, died Thursday at the age of 86. Meet VP Kamala Harris Big Historic Blended Multi-Cultural Family! Charles Henry Cooper (September 29, 1926 – February 5, 1984) was an American professional basketball player. [4] He then attended and played a semester of basketball for West Virginia State College (now University) before being drafted to serve in the United States Navy in the final stages of World War II. It turned out that the Capitols had picked him in the ninth round of the draft. Cooper was the first black player selected in the NBA draft in 1950, however was not inducted into the Hall of Fame until this year. Lloyd’s alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. An all Black starting team would have been an impossibility until the start of the 1963-1964 season, when the Celtics broke the gentlemen’s agreement (or whatever it was) and acquired Naulls from The San Francisco Warriors. Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death but did not provide details. Basketball-NBA Vintage Earl Lloyd 1st Black African American NBA Player Photo 870TH GUN BN 1928-2015. On April 25, 1950, the Boston Celtics drafted Charles “Chuck” Cooper, followed by the May 24 signing of Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton by the New York Knicks and the debut of the Washington Capitols’ Earl Lloyd who was the first Black player in an NBA game on October 31. Lusia Harris. While Lloyd was the first black player to play in a NBA game, Chuck Cooper was the first player to be drafted in the NBA. [1] He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 9, 2019. Finally, at the start of the 1950-51 season, Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in an NBA game, as his team started its season a day before either Cooper's or Clifton's. by Sakina P. Spruell March 2, 2015 November 14, 2017. He was 86. Two other black players joined the NBA that seasonthe Celtics drafted Chuck Cooper in the second round and the New Y… The first black player in NBA history died on Thursday at the age of 86. Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. Active players are listed in bold. Black Capitol Police Officer Fired After Punching Trump Supporter During Protest In Self-Defense, Report: Dancer & “Breakin” Star Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones Dies, Salt of Salt-N-Pepa Refused to Revisit Relationship with Ex-husband in Upcoming Biopic, The Obamas Lookin Fly At The 2021 Inauguration [PHOTOS], Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester Spotted Praying For During U.S. Capitol Riots [VIDEO], Scenes From The Historic Inaugurations Of Joe Biden And Kamala Harris. That night in St. Louis, Willie Naulls replaced the injured Tommy Heinsohn, and the Celtics had an all Black starting five, for the first time in the history of the NBA. Two black players who had been drafted ahead of Lloyd — Chuck Cooper of the New York Knicks and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton of the Boston Celtics — played their first games a day after Lloyd, according to NBA.com . He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fameon Sep… Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. After his NBA career, Cooper graduated with a Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 1960. It did not provide details. Earl Lloyd, the first black player to appear in an NBA game, died Thursday at the … In commemoration of Black History Month, we shine a light on one trailblazer each day and today, we honour the first African player in the NBA, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Shortly afterwards, Nat Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract with an NBA team. He was 86. ... Lloyd became the first Black coach in the NBA and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. Harold Hunter was the … The appearance of the players shifted the racial paradigm of the popular sports league, paving the way for the Black superstars of today. ... Lloyd became the NBA's first black assistant coach with Detroit. On April 25, 1950, the Boston Celtics drafted Charles “Chuck” Cooper, followed by the May 24 signing of Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton by the New York Knicks and the debut of the Washington Capitols’ Earl Lloyd who was the first Black player in an NBA game on October 31. Share. See the highest and lowest player salaries in the NBA on ESPN.com. Lloyd made his NBA … View player profile, bio, stats, news and video highlights. Chuck told the team newsletter, “I’m convinced that no NBA team would have made the move on blacks in 1950 if the Celtics hadn’t drafted me early.” Life before the NBA [6] He was the first African American to participate in a college basketball game south of the Mason–Dixon line.[7]. He's seen here (center) being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003. [4][8] Cooper was drafted by Celtics' owner Walter A. By Amir Vera, CNN. [4] He attended Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School and graduated in 1944. NBA & ABA Player Directory. Index of Letters. Aug 15, 2019. Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. Lloyd and Jim Tucker became the first Black players to play for an NBA championship team with the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. Charles Henry Cooper (September 29, 1926 – February 5, 1984) was an American professional basketball player. Now, the former Boston Celtic is finally getting his due. 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