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1950 was a year of awakening for the NBA. In 1950, four black men played in the NBA: Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, HanK DeZonie and Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton. They were the first African-Americans to play in the NBA.

On October 31, 1950, Earl Lloyd, a member of the Washington Capitols, became the first African-American to play in an NBA game when he entered a game against the Rochester Royals.

Chuck Cooper was the first African-American to be drafted out of college by an NBA team, the Boston Celtics. Chuck played 66 games in his first season with the Celtics. He averaged 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. He would have been the first African-American to play in the NBA, but Earl Lloyd played one day before him because of the schedules.

The first Aftrican-American player to sign an NBA contract was Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, when his Harlem Globetrotter contract was purchased by the New York Knicks. Earlier, Harold Hunter out of North Carolina College had signed a contract, but he was cut during pre-season and never played in the NBA.

Other early black NBA players were Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor.
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Q: Who were the first African-Americans to play in the NBA?
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