First black NBA player gets honor at Hawks game

JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. Associated Press Published:

ATLANTA (AP) -- Earl Lloyd remembers when he suited up for the Washington Capitols more than 60 years ago as the first black to play in an NBA game and wondering if he would make a good enough impression to stick around.

Lloyd and the Capitols lost the game. But he played well enough to earn a roster spot and break the color barrier in a league that had only three black players in 1950 and now features the highest percentage of African-American athletes in any of the major professional leagues.

As part of Black History Month, the 83-year-old Hall of Famer will be honored at halftime of the Atlanta-Miami game on Sunday.

Lloyd says he is anxious to watch his favorite players, the Heat's All-star tandem of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.