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First Black Basketball PlayerThe first black player drafted by an NBA team was Chuck Cooper, picked in the second round of the 1950 draft by the Boston Celtics. In the eighth round of the draft, Washington chose Earl Lloyd of West Virginia State. At about the same time, the New York Knicks signed Nat ``Sweetwater'' Clifton from the Harlem Globetrotters. Lloyd made his debut on Oct. 31, 1950, becoming the first black to play in an NBA game. Cooper made his debut a day later. Clifton, the first to sign a contract, played his first game on Nov. 4, 1950.
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