Earl Francis Lloyd Research Paper

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Earl Francis Lloyd is considered by many to be the "Jackie Robinson of basketball". On October 31, 1950, he became the first African-American to play in a NBA game. He was not the first to be drafted by into the league, or the first to sign a contract, but he does hold the distinction of being the first to take the court in an actual game. Earl "Big Cat" Lloyd was born in Alexandria, Virginia on April 3, 1928. He became a local star at Parker Gray High School before attending West Virginia State College, a historically Black College, in 1947. At 6'5", 215 pounds, Lloyd became known for his cat-like quickness and defensive prowess, which to him being called "Big Cat". He was instrumental in West Virginia State winning back-to-back CIAA championships…show more content…
His rookie season in the NBA lasted only seven games. The Washington franchise folded on January 9, 1951, so Lloyd entered the U.S. Army and spent two years at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma before returning to basketball. In 1952, Lloyd was picked up off of waivers by the NBA's Syracuse Nationals. He quickly became a starter for the team, and played for them through the 1957-1958 seasons. He was a big reason why the Nationals won the 1955 NBA Championship, and along with teammate Jim Tucker, became one of the first two Blacks to win a NBA Championship. Earl Lloyd finished his career with the Detroit Pistons, where he was traded after the 1958 season. With the Pistons, he became also assumed coaching responsibilities, becoming a bench coach. This earned him the added distinction of becoming the first Black to coach in the NBA. Lloyd retired in 1960 with 4,682 points, 3,609 rebounds, and 810 assists. After his retirement, he became a scout for the Pistons, and is credited with finding such talent from black colleges as Ray Scott, Willis Reed, Wally Jones, and Earl "The Pearl"
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