Saturday, November 1, 2014
Earl Lloyd-1st A.A. to Play in the National Basketball Association (NBA)
Earl Francis Lloyd is a retired American basketball player. He was the 1st African American to play in the National Basketball Association, in the 1950–51 NBA season. Three other African Americans played in the same season: Chuck Cooper, Nathaniel Clifton, and Hank DeZonie.
Lloyd, a forward known for his defense, played collegiately at West Virginia State College, was selected in the 9th-round of the 1950 NBA Draft by the Washington Capitols. On October 31, 1950, Lloyd became the first African American to play in an NBA game, against the Rochester Royals.
Lloyd led West Virginia State to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships in 1948 and 1949. He was named All-Conference three times (1948–50) and was All-American twice, as named by the Pittsburgh Courier (1949–50). As a senior, he averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per game, while leading West Virginia State to a second place finish in the CIAA Conference and Tournament Championship. In 1947-48, West Virginia State was the only undefeated team in the United States. He went into the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, before the Syracuse Nationals picked him up on waivers. He spent six seasons with Syracuse and two with the Detroit Pistons before retiring in 1960.
Lloyd retired ranked 43rd in career scoring with 4,682 points.
Lloyd was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 2003, Lloyd was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor.
Lloyd was named to the NAIA Silver and Golden Anniversary Teams.
On December 1, 2007, the newly constructed basketball court at T. C. Williams High School in Lloyd's home town of Alexandria, Virginia, was named in his honor. Lloyd actually attended Parker-Gray High School, as Alexandria's schools were racially-segregated at the time.