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Earl Francis Lloyd

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Information about Earl Francis Lloyd

Profile image of Earl Francis Lloyd

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Smothered Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
It Gets No Better Than That.

Birthplace

Born:
4/3/1928
Birth Location:
Alexandria, Virginia

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Smothered Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
It Gets No Better Than That.

Birthplace

Born:
4/3/1928
Birth Location:
Alexandria
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Biography

Earl Francis “Big Cat” Lloyd, the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game, was born on April 3, 1928 in Alexandria, Virginia. Lloyd was raised by his father, Theodore Benjamin Lloyd, and mother, Daisy Mitchell Lloyd, in the Berg area of Alexandria. Lloyd’s mother’s wisdom influenced him to become a good student and an outstanding athlete at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School and Parker-Gray High School. His coach, Louis Randolph Johnson, helped Lloyd to enroll at West Virginia State University (WVSU) after his 1946 high school graduation. The speedy defensive-minded Lloyd, at 6’7” tall, led WVSU to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships in 1948 and 1949. Lloyd was named All-Conference three times and was All-American twice, as highlighted by the Pittsburgh Courier in 1949 and 1950. Lloyd graduated from WVSU with his B.S. degree in physical education in 1950.

In 1950, Lloyd was among the first three black players drafted by an NBA team when he was signed by the Washington Capitols, and became the first black to play in an NBA game on October 31, 1950 as part of Washington coach Horace “Bones” McKinney’s starting five. Drafted by the U.S. Army in 1951, Lloyd captured four U.S. Army basketball titles. Returning to the NBA in 1952, Lloyd and teammate Jim Tucker became the first African Americans to win an NBA title in 1955 with Dolph Schayes and the Syracuse Nationals. That year, Lloyd averaged 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for Syracuse, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to three in a seven game series for the NBA title. Lloyd closed out his playing career with the Detroit Pistons from 1958 to 1960. Over his professional career, Lloyd played in over 560 games in nine seasons and averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

In 1960, Lloyd served as assistant coach and scout for the Detroit Pistons. As a scout, he helped draft Bailey Howell, but failed to interest Detroit in future legends Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Willis Reed. Lloyd served as the NBA’s first non-playing coach with the Pistons from 1971 to 1973. After basketball, he worked for Chrysler and as a job-placement administrator with the Detroit Public Schools. Further recognition of Lloyd began when his name appeared as the answer to a question on television’s Jeopardy quiz show in 1988. In the 1990s, Lloyd worked for the steel and auto parts company of former Piston, Dave Bing, who had played for Lloyd during his years at the helm of the Pistons.

Now retired and living in Tennessee, Lloyd and his wife, Ginny, have one grown child.

Lloyd was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 16, 2007.

See how Earl Francis Lloyd is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Francis Lloyd's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his older brothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his family's impact on his basketball career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his early experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his schooling in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing sports at Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers Coach Louis Randolph Johnson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the community of Alexandria, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his high school basketball championship game
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing basketball at Parker-Gray High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his high school teammate, Oliver Ellis, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his high school teammate, Oliver Ellis, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his decision to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing basketball at West Virginia State College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about historically black college basketball programs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his basketball playing style
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his basketball training routine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls the status of black sports stars during his college years
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls barnstorming black basketball teams
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his community at West Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his social life at West Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls being selected in the NBA Draft
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about the culture of professional basketball
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his experience of discrimination at NBA training camp
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his African American heroes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls being drafted by the Washington Capitols
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the racial discrimination in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing for Coach Horace "Bones" McKinney
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls joining the Syracuse Nationals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls playing for the Syracuse Nationals
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls winning an NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers being traded to the Detroit Pistons
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls his career with the Detroit Pistons
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls Coach Dick McGuire's departure from the Detroit Pistons
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about scouting for the Detroit Pistons
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about Detroit Pistons center Reggie Harding
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls scouting Dave Bing and Cazzie Russell
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the Detroit Pistons star player, Bob Lanier
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers his tenure as head coach of the Detroit Pistons
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes the challenges of coaching in the NBA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his career after leaving the NBA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd remembers serving as a job training program administrator
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd recalls counseling young, African American job applicants
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his friendship with Dave Bing
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes Dave Bing's community programs in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes Dave Bing's community programs in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Earl Francis Lloyd describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Earl Francis Lloyd talks about his family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Earl Francis Lloyd reflects upon the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Earl Francis Lloyd narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Earl Francis Lloyd narrates his photographs, pt. 2