Skip to main content Search this website
The new Hall of Honor is now open! Phase 3 of our museum renovation is underway, please pardon our appearance. Center Court will be closed from September 23rd to October 7th.
1-877-4-HOOPLA
Mobile navigation toggle icon
Photo of Earl Lloyd

Earl F. Lloyd

On the night of October 31, 1950, Earl Lloyd, a forward with the Washington Capitols, became the first African-American to play in an NBA game. From that moment, Lloyd would forever change how African-Americans would integrate into professional basketball. Lloyd’s ability to conduct himself with grace, style, and professionalism both on and off the court during an era of segregation became the model for others to follow. Lloyd was a two-time All-America selection at West Virginia State where he helped lead his school to an undefeated 30-0 season in 1947-48, a conference championship, and unofficial “national champion” status as voted by several black newspapers. The 6-foot-8 Lloyd enjoyed a solid NBA career with the Capitols, Syracuse Nationals, and Detroit Pistons. A rugged power forward who became a starter on Syracuse’s NBA championship team in 1955, Lloyd was known for his defensive play on the opponent’s top scorer, rugged rebounding, and effective offensive game. 

Enshrined

2003

Born

April 03, 1928 Alexandria, VA

Died

February 26, 2015

Contributor Stats

1st AFRICAN AMERICAN
TO PLAY IN AN
NBA GAME, 1950
NAMED CIAA PLAYER OF THE
DECADE, 1940'S
MEMBER NAIA SILVER AND GOLDEN
ANNIVERSARY TEAMS
1 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
1st AFRICAN AMERICAN
BENCH COACH
30-0 SEASON RECORD AT
WEST VIRGINIA STATE
1947-48