Earl Lloyd

Earl Lloyd

Professional American basketball player
Date of Birth: 03.04.1928
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Earl Lloyd
  2. Early Life and College Career
  3. NBA Career
  4. Post-NBA Career
  5. Legacy

Biography of Earl Lloyd

Earl Francis Lloyd was a professional American basketball player. He is best known as the first African-American player to compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Lloyd debuted in the NBA on October 31, 1950, becoming the first black player to take part in an NBA game.

Earl Lloyd

Early Life and College Career

Earl Lloyd played college basketball for the West Virginia State College team. In 1950, he was selected by the Washington Capitols in the 9th round of the NBA draft.

Earl Lloyd

NBA Career

Lloyd played as a forward in the NBA and was known for his exceptional defensive skills. He played a total of 560 games over nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

Earl Lloyd

In the 1955 season, Lloyd had his best season, averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while helping his team, the Syracuse Nationals, win the NBA championship. Alongside Jim Tucker, Lloyd became the first black players to be part of an NBA championship team.

Earl Lloyd

Lloyd played for the Washington Capitols, Syracuse Nationals, and Detroit Pistons during his NBA career. He retired in 1960, ranking 43rd in the all-time NBA scoring list with 4,682 points.

Earl Lloyd

Post-NBA Career

After retiring from playing, Earl Lloyd briefly served as a coach for the Detroit Pistons and worked as a talent scout for the team for five seasons. He was considered for the head coaching position but ultimately, Dave DeBusschere was selected.


Earl Lloyd's career in the NBA paved the way for future African-American players in the league. Today, approximately 80% of NBA players are black, a stark contrast to the three black players in the league when Lloyd made his debut. He played a crucial role in breaking down racial barriers in professional basketball.

In recognition of his contributions to the sport, Lloyd was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. In addition, a basketball court at his hometown high school was named after him. Earl Lloyd's biography, "Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey," was published in November 2009, co-authored by Lloyd and local writer Sean Kirst.

Despite not achieving widespread fame, Earl Lloyd made significant contributions to the sport of basketball. His debut game in the NBA marked the beginning of a new era in professional basketball, with African-American players becoming an integral part of the league.