First black NBA player, Earl Lloyd dies at 86

First black NBA player, Earl Lloyd dies at 86


The first black player in the history of the US National Basketball Association (NBA) has died at the age of 86.

Lloyd died on Thursday, February 26, of yet undisclosed causes.

His death was announced by his alma mater, West Virginia State, via a statement.

“The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court,” College President, Brian Hemphill said.

“When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America,” he added.

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and lived in Crossville, Tennessee. He is survived by wife, Charlita, three sons and four grandchildren.

Happenings Media