Before LeBron and Kobe came MJ. Before that came Magic, Bird, Oscar, Wilt and Russell. But before any of them came Earl Lloyd, the first Black player in the NBA. Not many recognize his name or understand his importance, but a soon to be released documentary is looking to change all of that.
Through the combined talents of Arka Sengupta, Jack Lechner, David Friendly, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, Michael Finley, Tony Parker, the Lloyd Family Foundation and directors Coodie & Chike, Lloyd’s story will come to life in “The First to Do It”, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 before moving on to air nationally.
Many can’t picture the NBA without Black players, as the League’s current racial makeup showcases a Black player roster of over 70%. But this would never have happened if it wasn’t for the night of October 31, 1950, when Earl Lloyd stepped onto the court for the Washington Capitols to play against the Rochester Royals, making him the first Black player to compete in an NBA game. 66 years later, Black multi-millionaires dominate the courts every night.
We’ll have more on this historically important documentary in the months to come, but you can also read more about it here.