- Chuck Cooper (basketball)
Chuck Cooper No. 11, 15, 6 Small forward / Shooting guard Personal information Date of birth September 29, 1926 Place of birth Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Nationality American Date of death February 5, 1984(aged 57) Place of death Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania High school Westinghouse (Pittsburgh) Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg) Career information College West Virginia State
NBA Draft 1950 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12th overall Selected by the Boston Celtics Pro career 1950–1956 League NBA Career history 1950–1954 Boston Celtics 1954–1956 Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks 1956 Fort Wayne Pistons Career highlights and awards Career NBA statistics Points 2,725 (6.7 ppg) Rebounds 2,431 (5.9 rpg) Assists 733 (1.8 apg) Stats at NBA.com Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Cooper is one of three players with legitimate claims to be the first African American basketball player in the NBA. Each satisfied a different condition of being "first":
- Cooper was the first black player to be drafted by an NBA team, in 1950.
- Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract with an NBA team.
- Earl Lloyd was the first black player to actually play in an NBA game; his team started its 1950–51 season one day before Cooper's and four days before Clifton's.
Cooper attended Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, where he was a star athlete. After graduating, he played for two NCAA teams: Duquesne University and West Virginia State College (now University).
Cooper was signed by Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach. Cooper's NBA career was respectable but not stellar. He played four years with the Celtics, then was traded to the Milwaukee Hawks before ending his career as a member of the Ft. Wayne Pistons. During his NBA career, Cooper played a total of 409 games, scoring 2,725 points for an average of 6.66 points per game, with 2431 rebounds for an average of 5.9 per game, and 733 assists for an average of 1.79 per game. As some statistics were not kept during that era, it is not known how many blocked shots, steals or turnovers he had during his career.
- Chuck Cooper's career NBA Stats from databasketball.com
- Biography at answers.com
- Find-A-Grave profile for Chuck Cooper
1950 NCAA Men's Basketball Consensus All-Americans 1950 NBA Draft Territorial pick First round Second round
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