West Virginia State University (WVSU) has announced it will recognize alumni and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Earl Lloyd by naming a street on campus after him during a ceremony to be held on Friday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Lloyd passed away on Feb. 26, 2015.
Earl Lloyd with his statue in WVSU’s convention center
Lloyd was the first African-American to play in a NBA game in 1950 as a player for the Washington Capitols. Later in his career when he was a part of the Syracuse Nationals, he became the first African-American basketball player to win an NBA championship. After ending his career of being a basketball player, Lloyd became the first African-American to be an assistant coach and the first to be named a bench coach with the Detroit Pistons, according to a WVSU press release.
Nicknamed “The Big Cat”, Lloyd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, the West Virginia State University Hall of Fame, the state of Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame, the state of West Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the Black College Alumni Hall of Fame and the Parker-Gray High School Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will be located in the lobby of the D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker Convocation Center, where a statue of Lloyd resides. The new street will be named Earl Lloyd Way and will be located between the center and WVSU’s tennis courts.