Knowing your history and creating a legacy

“A kid from UCLA, one of the O’Bannon brothers, once said, ‘We really owe you,’ ” Lloyd said, “I said, ‘You don’t owe me, but you owe the people coming behind you. It’s incumbent on you to help the people coming behind you.’ ”’

Being aware of what came before our time begets support for those who created the institutions and opportunities here for us now and the obligation to do the same for those who come after us.

Such a knowledge of history seems to be lost with many younger persons in sports, both at the grassroots and professional level. A change in their level of appreciation is tantamount in maintaining the fundamental elements of support – sacrifice, sportsmanship, hard work, etc. Lessons learned from those who experienced their own, often unique challenges, will give us greater energy to fight through our own.

You will find the above quote and our own history lesson in the article by Marc Spears about Earl Lloyd, the first black man to play in an NBA game. You can find this great piece at Yahoo! Sports –, with an excerpt below.

NBA needs history lesson for its pioneers


The young players attending the NBA’s rookie symposium figured the tall, elderly black gentleman standing before them must be somebody important. But they didn’t know who he was. Even when Earl Lloyd was initially introduced, his name didn’t register any recognition from the audience.

Photo Earl Lloyd joined the Syracuse Nationals after beginning his career with the Washington Capitols.

(NBAE/ Getty)

Only when it was announced that Lloyd had been the first black man to ever play in an NBA game did the players begin to stir.

“Very few players know who I am,” Lloyd said. “…But once they find out who I am, I have their attention and they sit up.”

Lloyd of the Washington Capitols, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton of the New York Knicks and Chuck Cooper of the Boston Celtics became the first three African-Americans to play in the NBA during the 1950-51 season. Lloyd was the first to participate in a game – on Oct. 31, 1950, in Rochester, N.Y.

(The article continues at