By Margo Wagner | [email protected]
Alexandria City Council voted to accept a statue in honor of Earl Lloyd, the first Black man to play in the National Basketball Association, on July 7.
Lloyd grew up in Alexandria and graduated from Parker-Gray High School in 1946. He went on to play basketball at West Virginia State University and then for the Washington Capitols. He also played for the Syracuse Nationals and Detroit Pistons, becoming the first Black man to play on an NBA championship team. Lloyd died in 2015.
His wife, Charlita Lloyd, is donating the statue to be part of the African American Hall of Fame, located at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. The statue will be placed outside of the entrance to the basketball courts and is a duplicate of Lloyd’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame statue.
“It is an extraordinary gift. I really think [the statue] would help a lot of young men and women to be inspired,” Councilor Del Pepper said.
The statue is set to be unveiled on Oct. 31 on the 70th anniversary of Lloyd’s first NBA game.