PIONEER

First Black NBA Player Earl Lloyd Dies

Earl Lloyd, the first African American to ever play in the NBA, died Thursday at the age of 86. Lloyd played his first NBA game in 1950 for the Washington Capitals. West Virginia State, where Lloyd went to college, confirmed his death. “The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court,” West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. “When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil-rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America.”