Today in labor history: Earl Lloyd became the first black player in NBA

On this day in 1950 Earl Lloyd became the first African American player in the NBA.  Born in Virginia, Lloyd attended West Virginia state.  He was selected in the 9th round NBA draft.

That year 3 other black players also played on NBA teams: Nathaniel Clifton, Chuck Cooper, and Hank DeZonie. 

Lloyd played seven games before being drafted to fight in the Korean War. In 1970 the 6′ 5” player became the first black head coach of an NBA team, the Detroit Pistons. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in in 2003.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.