Basketball History
African-American History

Who were the first African-Americans to play in the NBA?


Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
2017-09-18 12:58:05
2017-09-18 12:58:05

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.
O.J. Simpson


Related Questions

User Avatar

Earl Lloyd was the first african american to play in the NBA

User Avatar

There were many "First" people to play, i can tell you the first MVP... Bob Pettit in 1956

User Avatar

There was not a first person to play NBA basketball ,ritard, basketball is played in teams.

User Avatar

First you join High School basketball and then if a college likes how you play they draft after that you play college basketball. After that you can decide if want to go in the NBA draft. When you go in the NBA draft if a NBA team likes they will pick to play for the team. After that you can play in the NBA.

User Avatar

No female has ever played in an NBA game.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.