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Historic marker to be placed in front of NBA trailblazer’s childhood home

The original sculpture of Earl Lloyd at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Photo via City of Alexandria)

A marker will be unveiled in front of NBA trailblazer Earl Francis Lloyd’s childhood home in Alexandria.

The city announced today (Friday) that the historical state marker will be at 1020 Montgomery Street and an event will be held for its unveiling, featuring remarks from Mayor Justin Wilson, Kevin Lloyd, son of Earl Loyd, and others.

The unveiling will take place between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday, April 2, according to a news release.

Last year, the city unveiled a statue of Lloyd at the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame. In 2020, the city named the 1000 block of Montgomery Street after him, Earl F. Lloyd Way.

The history of Lloyd’s NBA career is outlined in the release and can be read below.

Earl Lloyd was born in Alexandria in 1928 to Theodore Lloyd Sr. and Daisy Lloyd. At Parker-Gray, Lloyd played on the basketball team and earned All-South Atlantic Conference honors three times, and All-State Virginia Interscholastic Conference honors twice.

Earl’s defensive prowess earned him the nickname “Moon Fixer” due to his size and shot blocking ability. His success led to a scholarship in 1946 to West Virginia State, which he led to two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships. In 1949 and 1950, the Pittsburgh Courier named him to its All-American team.

After graduating in 1950, Earl was drafted by the Washington Capitols. He was one of only four black players drafted to the NBA that year. Due to a scheduling coincidence, his start on Oct. 31, 1950, made him the first African American to play in an NBA game. He achieved that honor one day before “Chuck” Cooper played for the Boston Celtics and four days before Nat Clifton played for the New York Knicks.

After playing only seven NBA games, Lloyd was drafted into the army during the Korean War. After two years in the army, he returned to the NBA in 1952 with the Syracuse Nationals, following the dissolution of the Capitols in 1951. Earl played six seasons with the Nationals, winning the championship in 1955 alongside Jim Tucker. Lloyd and Tucker were the first two African Americans to win an NBA championship. Lloyd passed away in 2015.

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