On This Day: Chuck Cooper becomes first African American selected in NBA draft

On April 25, 1950, the Boston Celtics make Chuck Cooper, an All-American forward from Duquesne University, the first African American picked in NBA draft. With the selection, the first pick in the second round, Cooper breaks the NBA’s color barrier and changes the league for the better.

The pick was met with skepticism by some in the NBA, including some of the Celtics’ owners. But Celtics founder and original owner Walter Brown famously said that Cooper could be “striped, plaid or polka dot … All I know is the kid can play basketball, and we want him on the Boston Celtics.”

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