STATEMENT FROM THE NBRPA ON THE PASSING OF HALL OF FAMER EARL LLOYD

February 27, 2015

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, today issued the following statement on the passing of Earl Lloyd.

“The National Basketball Retired Players Association extends condolences to the family, friends and former teammates of our fallen brother, Earl Lloyd.

On Halloween night in 1950, Earl forever changed the game of basketball when he became the first African-American player to take the court in a regular-season NBA game. A rugged power forward, Earl was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame inn 2003 after a solid NBA career in which he averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games through nine seasons. He helped the Syracuse Nationals to the 1955 NBA Championship and coached the Detroit Pistons from 1971-1972

Earl Lloyd was much more than a basketball player. He was a leader, a pioneer, a soldier (missing the 1951-52 season while serving the United States Army), a husband, a father and for those of us lucky enough to know him through the NBRPA, a true friend. Modest and willing to share his story with anyone when asked, Earl offered a vivid window into our nation’s segregated past and personified change in this country. A truly historic figure in American history has passed and we will miss Earl Lloyd dearly.”