West Virginia State University Honors Alumnus Earl Lloyd, the First Black Man to Play in the NBA

Historically Black West Virginia State University will recognize Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member and alumnus Earl Lloyd with the naming of a street on campus in his honor. The basketball legend passed away on February 26, 2015.

Lloyd came to what was then West Virginia State College in 1947. During his time there, he won two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference and Tournament Championships. He was named an All-Conference player for three years and selected as an All-American by the Pittsburgh Courier for two years.

In 1950, with the Washington Capitals, Lloyd became the first African-American to play in an National Basketball Association game and later, with the Syracuse Nationals, became the first African-American player to win an NBA championship. After he retired from playing, he coached for the Detroit Pistons. He was the first African-American to be named an assistant coach and the first to be named a bench coach in the NBA.

Lloyd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. He has also been honored with induction into the West Virginia State University Hall of Fame, the state of Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame, the state of West Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the Black College Alumni Hall of Fame and the Parker-Gray High School Hall of Fame.


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