"Lloyd is a trailblazing figure, often overlooked for his contribution to basketball and more. . . . Required reading."—New York Post
"Moonfixer. . . reads like a good talk with your grandfather: It teaches you a lot of historical lessons [and] makes you want to hear more."—SLAM Magazine
"This important book is long overdue. Earl Lloyd is a humble man whose intelligence, character and multiple talents have made him a significant part of American history."—Wayne Embry, NBA’s first African-American general manager and Basketball Hall of Famer
"Earl is not only celebrated as the first African American to take the court in 1950, but as one of the finest gentlemen that ever played in the League."—Zelda Spoelstra, NBA Senior Director of Alumni Relations and winner of the Hall of Fame’s John Bunn Award
"A must read for both sports fans and anyone interested in the role that sports played in the integration of America. Kirst has brilliantly woven the story of the NBA with the story of America."—Richard Lapchick, founder and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport
In 1950, future Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game. Nicknamed “Moonfixer” in college, Lloyd led West Virginia State to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships and was named All-American twice. One of three African Americans to enter the NBA at that time, Lloyd played for the Washington Capitals, Syracuse Nationals, and Detroit Pistons before he retired in 1961.
Throughout his career, he quietly endured the overwhelming slights and exclusions that went with being black in America. Yet he has also lived to see basketball—a demonstration of art, power, and pride—become the black national pastime and to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. In a series of extraordinary conversations with Sean Kirst, Lloyd reveals his fierce determination to succeed, his frustration with the plight of many young black men, and his sincere desire for the nation to achieve true equality among its citizens.
Earl Lloyd attended Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated from West Virginia State College. He was the first African American to compete in an NBA game and also broke down longstanding barriers as an NBA coach, as a scout, and as an executive with the Dodge division of Chrysler. He was deeply involved in programs to benefit city youth in Detroit. Lloyd has received many honors in recent years, including his 2003 enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Sean Kirst is a columnist for the Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York. His work has been recognized with many journalism honors, including the 2008 Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing, given by the Scripps Howard Foundation to the one newspaper writer nationwide who most exemplifies the works of Pyle, a famed World War II correspondent. Kirst is also the author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig and Other Baseball Essays.
6 x 9, 184 pages