Today, in 1926, Chuck Cooper, the first African American to get drafted by a National Basketball Association team, was born. On April 25, 1950 Cooper broke the color barrier in the NBA when he was drafted by the Boston Celtics. It's hard to imagine the game of professional basketball not being played by African Americans, when today it is largely dominated by them. I am glad that the barriers were finally broken; the game just would not be the same without the great African American players today.
Cooper was among three men that all satisfied themselves as being the first African American man in NBA history.
- Cooper was the first black player to be drafted by a NBA team, in 1950
- Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract with an NBA team
- Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in an NBA game, as his team started its season one day before Cooper's and four days before Clifton's.
Keeping Up would like to say Happy Birthday Chuck Cooper and thank you gentlemen for paving the way for many more African American ball players to come.
(Sources: African American Registry, Hoopedia)