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 a 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 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 an unofficial "national champions" 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.