Black Pioneers

  • NBA

    The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merge to form the NBA
  • Charles Cooper

    First black drafted by the NBA (Boston Celtics) for $7500/yr
  • Nat Clifton

    First black player to sign a NBA contract (N.Y. Knicks)
  • Earl Lloyd

    First black athlete to play in an NBA game (Washington Capitols)
  • Don Barksdale

    First African-American to play in an NBA All-Star game
  • Charles Cooper

    Second black player to play in an NBA game (Celtics)
  • Bill Russell

    First black player-coach (Celtics)
  • Earl Lloyd

    First non-playing black NBA head coach (Detroit)