Chuck Cooper (basketball)

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This article is about the pioneering African-American NBA basketball player. For the African-American actor, see Chuck Cooper (actor).
Chuck Cooper
Chuck Cooper.jpg
No. 11, 15, 6
Small forward / Shooting guard
Personal information
Born (1926-09-29)September 29, 1926
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died February 5, 1984(1984-02-05) (aged 57)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Westinghouse (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
College West Virginia State (1944–1945)
Duquesne (1946–1950)
NBA draft 1950 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Pro career 1950–1956
Career history
19501954 Boston Celtics
19541956 Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks
1956 Fort Wayne Pistons
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 2,725 (6.7 ppg)
Rebounds 2,431 (5.9 rpg)
Assists 734 (1.8 apg)
Stats at

Charles Henry "Chuck" Cooper (September 29, 1926 – February 5, 1984) was an American professional basketball player. He and two others, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton and Earl Lloyd, became the first African American players in the NBA in 1950.[1] Cooper was also the first African-American to be drafted by an NBA team, as the first pick of the second round by the Boston Celtics.[1]

Life, death, and education[edit]

Cooper was born and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School. He then attended and played basketball for West Virginia State College (now University) and then Duquesne University. He was the first African-American to integrate southern college basketball games.[2] He died at the age of 57 on February 5, 1984 of liver cancer.


Cooper was signed by Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach. 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, scored 2,725 points for an average of 6.66 points per game, had 2431 rebounds for an average of 5.9 per game, and had 733 assists for an average of 1.79 per game. As some statistics were not kept during that time, it is not known how many blocked shots, steals or turnovers he had during his career.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]