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Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans Proclaims Earl Lloyd Day



Earl Lloyd Day

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd took the court for the Washington Capitols of the National Basketball Association, becoming the league's first Black player On October 31, 1950 in a game against the Rochester Royals at the Edgerton Park Sports Arena; and

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd, along with Chuck Cooper, who was the first Black player drafted by an NBA team, and Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton, who was the first Black player to sign an NBA contract, are jointly credited with integrating professional basketball during the 1950-51; and

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd played nine seasons in the NBA for the Washington Capitols, the Syracuse Nationals, and Detroit Pistons, averaging 8.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game, and winning an NBA Championship in 1955 when the Nationals defeats the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to three in the NBA Finals; and

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd joined the Detroit Pistons coaching staff in 1968, becoming the first Black assistant coach in any of North America's four major sports leagues and became the NBA's second Black head coach, behind the Boston Celtics' Bill Russell, when named the Detroit Pistons head coach in 1971; and

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd, following a long career as NBA player, coach, and scout, as well as stint working for Chrysler, became a counselor and administrator for the Detroit Public Schools where he nurtured young Detroiters into becoming engaged and educated citizens; and

WHEREAS, Earl Lloyd passed away in 2015 after a full 86 years of life well-lived and is survived by his wife Charlita, sons Kevin, David, and Kenneth, and grandchildren Joey, Miles, Alexander, and Sierra as well as the countless lives he touched as a trailblazing athlete/coach and as an educator.

THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY PROCLAIMED that I, Warren C. Evans, on behalf of the citizens of Wayne County, declare October 31, 2020 as Earl Lloyd Day in Wayne County to both honor the 70th anniversary of his historic NBA debut and celebrate the life of one of our community's truly great men.