Hawks Honor Earl “Big Cat” Lloyd
During all February home games, the Atlanta Hawks will be honoring influential African-Americans who have made significant contributions to a variety of industries as part of this year’s celebration of Black History Month. Beginning February 2, during Atlanta's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Hawks will honor individuals who are each uniquely different in their contributions and unanimously impactful.
On Halloween 1950, Earl “Big Cat” Lloyd made history by becoming the first African-American to play in the NBA. On February 12, the Hawks will welcome Earl Lloyd during their home game against the Miami Heat. Lloyd played seven games before being drafted into the Army. The Washington Capitols folded while he was away and he joined the Syracuse Nationals upon his return, helping to lead them to an NBA Championship. In 1960, at the age of 32, Lloyd retired as a member of the Detroit Pistons. He spent the next decade as a scout and assistant coach for the team, and in 1971, stepped into the history books again by becoming the first African-American coach of the Pistons and the second black NBA head coach. Lloyd published his autobiography “Moonfixer” in 2009. For helping break the color barrier and for having an outstanding playing and coaching career, Lloyd was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.