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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Yearbook, Oct. 31: Earl Lloyd makes history

By Patrick Dorsey

Oct. 31, 1950: On this day 62 years ago, a 22-year-old man from Alexandria, Va., suited up for the Washington Capitols and made a breakthrough: Earl Lloyd became the first black player in NBA history.

The Boston Celtics' Chuck Cooper (the first black player drafted) and the New York Knicks' Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton (the first black player to sign a contract) joined Lloyd as game-tested NBA players days later. And while his run with Washington didn't last long -- he played just seven games, and the franchise folded after 35 that season -- Lloyd, after a brief stint in the Army, returned to play eight more years in the NBA, with the Syracuse Nationals and the Detroit Pistons.

Lloyd was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Earl Lloyd while with the Syracuse Nationals
Earl Lloyd while with the Syracuse Nationals
Earl Lloyd, the first black NBA player
Earl Lloyd being inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame