West Virginia State Honors Basketball Pioneer With Statue

This statue honoring Earl Lloyd was unveiled on Feb. 28. (Black Fives photo)

Black players are commonplace at all levels of basketball today, and Earl Lloyd is a big reason why. More than 60 years after becoming the first African-American to play in the NBA, Lloyd was honored by his alma mater with a statue last week.

The statue was unveiled in the lobby of the Walker Convocation Center of West Virginia State University. Lloyd was a three-time All-CIAA player at WVSU before signing with the Washington Capitals prior to the 1951 season. Attending the unveiling were legends Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, both of whom followed in Lloyd’s footsteps.

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