First African-American NBA player to speak here Feb. 19

The first African-American to play or to serve as assistant coach for an NBA basketball team will give a presentation at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, in the Tech Pride Room of the Roaden University Center.

Earl Lloyd, as part of the university’s Black History Month celebration, will share some of his experiences and answer questions from the audience.

A West Virginia State graduate, Lloyd became the NBA’s first African-American basketball player when he turned pro in 1950. His team was the Washington Capitols.

After starting out with the Capitols, he went on to enjoy a solid NBA career playing for the Syracuse Nationals and coaching for the Detroit Pistons.

While playing for Syracuse in 1955, Lloyd — alongside his teammate Jim Tucker — became the first African-American to win an NBA title.

He became the NBA’s first African-American assistant coach when he joined the staff of the Detroit Pistons in 1968. Still working on the staff of the same team three years later, Lloyd became the first African-American bench coach and only the second African-American head coach.

Among the future Hall of Fame players he coached at the time were Dave Bing and Bob Lanier.

Lloyd’s presentation is free and open to the public. For more information about it or other Black History Month events at the university, call the Minority Affairs Office at 931/372-3392.