BCS History & Legends




chuck cooper

West Virginia State College/Duquesne University ‘50

Chuck Cooper began his college basketball career at West Virginia State College (now University) before being drafted into the United States Navy during World War II. After service, he finishedhis playing career at Duquesne University where he was a four-time All-American and all-time leading scorer.
In 1950, he became one of the first African American players to be drafted in the NBA along with two others, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Earl Lloyd. He was the 14th overall pick NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. He played six seasons in the league with the Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  2019
In 2021, the National Basketball Association named the Pacific Division Trophy in his honor.

West Virginia State ‘50

Earl Lloyd was an All-American and three time All-CIAA player (1948–50) at West Virginia State University, where he led the Yellow Jackets to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships in 1948 and 1949. The 1948 team had an undefeated season (30-0). Lloyd was drafted in the 9th round (100 pick) by the Washington Capitols in the 1950 NBA draft, one of three black players to enter the NBA at the same time.
He helped lead the Syracuse Nationals to the 1955 NBA Championship and later finished his pro career with the Detroit Pistons. Lloyd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Naismith Hall of Fame  2003
In 2021, the National Basketball Association named the Southeast Division Trophy in his honor.

North Carolina Central University

Jones has won more championships than any HBCU graduate who has played in the NBA. He won 10 championships as a member of the Boston Celtics from 1957-69 and was a five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA selection and a member of the league’s 25th, 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. Jones was nicknamed “The Shooter” for his ability to hit clutch shots in championship runs. He stood up for the rights of African Americans in the league and in the country during a pivotal time in the 1960s.

Naismith Hall of Fame  1984
Basketball Hall of Fame
College Basketball Hall of Fame
North Carolina Central Hall of Fame
CIAA Hall of Fame
In 2021, the National Basketball Association named the Northwest Division Trophy in his honor.

Willis Reed, Grambling StateGrambling State University

Reed is the only HBCU graduate to be named league MVP and Finals MVP.  Reed played his entire career with the Knicks, winning two championships. A seven-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection, Reed was Rookie of the Year in 1965 and was named to the league’s 50th and 75th Anniversary teams.
He helped the Grambling TIgers win the 1960 NAIA Tournament championship.

Naismith Hall of Fame  1982
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Grambling Legends Hall of Fame
SWAC Hall of Fame
In 2021, the National Basketball Association named the Southwest Division Trophy
in his honor.


Al Attles was an outstanding point guard with the North Carolina A&T Aggies. He was a fifth round pick by the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1960 NBA Draft and enjoyed a 11-year playing career in the National Basketball Association.
Attles played with Wilt Chamberlain and Guy Rodgers on the 1964 Warriors team that lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
He later played on the Warriors’ 1967 team that lost to Philadelphia 76ers (with Chamberlain) in the Finals.
He later coached the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship in the 1974-75 season.
He averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 711 regular-season games and currently ranks fifth on the Warriors all-time games played list (711).
Attles spent 62 years with the Warriors organization, the longest uninterrupted tenure of any person with one team.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
North Carolina A&T Hall of Fame
CIAA Hall of Fame

Earl Monroe, WSSU

Winston-Salem State University

Earl Monroe was a Philadelphia playground legend and basketball superstar at John Bartram High School before going on to gain national fame at Winston-Salem State University under Hall of Fame coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines.
The two-time All-American averaged 41.5 points in his senior year and led the Rams to the NCAA College Division Championship, the first Black college team to win an NCAA championship.
Monroe was the NCAA College Division Player of the Year and was the second overall pick in the first round of the 1967 NBA draft by the Baltimore Bullets.
He averaged 24.3 points per game on his way to the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He scored 56 points against the Los Angeles Lakers which was the third highest for a rookie in NBA history and a franchise record.
In 1971, he joined the New York Knicks and formed the “Rolls Royce Backcourt” with Walt Frazier which became one of the all-time best guard tandems. They helped lead the Knicks to the 1973 NBA championship.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1990
NBA Hall of Fame
NBA 50th Anniversary Team
Winston-Salem State Hall of Fame
CIAA Hall of Fame

Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton

Xavier University of Louisiana/
Duquesne University

Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton was an outstanding basketball and baseball player at DuSable High School, graduating in 1942.
He attended Xavier University of Louisiana and then served with the United States Army for three years.
After a stint in the Army, Clifton joined the New York Rens, the talented all-black professional touring basketball team.
Clifton played first baseman for the Chicago American Giants in the Negro Baseball League during the basketball off-season in 1949. He joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1948.
Prior to the 1950 season, he was part of a trio of black players to follow Jackie Robinson in breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
On May 24, 1950, he became the first African-American player to sign an actual NBA contract and one of the first African Americans to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Clifton averaged a double-double in points and rebounds for two consecutive seasons and made the All-Star team in 1957 in his seven-year career with the Knicks.

Naismith Hall of Fame 2014
Xavier University Hall of Fame

Robert HighesTexas Southern/Tulsa ’57

Bob played for legendary coach Ed Adams and was named an All-American at Southern. He played for the barnstorming Harlem Magicians in 1954 and was selected by the Boston Celtics as a supplemental draft pick in 1955 NBA Draft.
A ruptured Achilles tendon forced him to retire, and he later attained his degree from the University of Tulsa in 1957.
Hughes was hired at I. M. Terrell High School, in Fort Worth, Texas (an all-black high school) during segregation and led Terrell to three PVIL state championships and one runner up in the five years from 1963 to 1967.
In 1973, Hughes began coaching at Dunbar High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District and took the Wildcats to two state titles, three times state runner-up, and 12 times final four between 1977 and 2003, including ten final fours in the 17-year run between 1977 and 1993.
Hughes won five state basketball titles between Terrell and Dunbar, and retired in 2005 as the all-time winningest high school basketball coach, passing Morgan Wootten in 2003.
Hughes was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on March 31, 2017, Texas Basketball Hall of Fame (1993), High School Basketball Hall of Fame (2003), and the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame (2013).
Hughes was selected as the NHSCA National High School Coach of the Year in 2003 and received the Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.



Langston University

One of the Greatest Ambassador for the United States

Marques Haynes led his high school, Booker T. Washington High School (Sand Springs, OK) to a Negro national championship in 1941.
He played basketball for Langston University under legendary coach Zip Gayles from 1942 to 1946. The Lions, led by Haynes and twins Lance and Larry Cudjoe, had a winning record of 112–3, including a 59-game winning streak, two Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and two Negro National Championships in 1944-45.
The trio led the Lions to a 74-70 upset of the Harlem Globetrotters in an exhibition game at Oklahoma City in 1946. Haynes had 26 points and was named MVP of the game.
The four-time All-State, All-Conference, and team MVP and the Cudjoes signed with the Globetrotters after graduation and traveled all over the world playing before dignitaries and global leaders and millions of fans.
In 1948 and 1949, Haynes and the Globetrotters defeated the NBA champion Minneapolis Lakers and George Mikan. 
In 1950, Haynes was deprived of being the first African American in the NBA when the Globetrotters refused to sell his contract.
He created a rival team, the Harlem Magicians in 1953 after declining NBA offers in 1953 and 1955.
Haynes rejoined the Globetrotters in 1972 as a player and coach until 1979.
He toured with the Bucketeers from 1979-81 and played with the Harlem Wizards from 1981-83.
His last nine years of professional basketball were with his recreated Harlem Magicians from 1983-92 and capped his forty-six-year career.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Langston Hall of Fame
NAIA Hall of Fame
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

zelmo baetty

Prairie View A&M University

Zelmo Beaty was a celebrated 6’9″ center at Prairie View A&M, where he scored a career 2,385 points and led the SWAC in single season rebounding in 1961 and 1965 with a 22.4 rebounding average in 1961. His  2,164 rebounds  in four years was best in the league.
Beatty was second on the SWAC All-time scoring list with 1,053 points and 32.9 average in 1962.
The third pick of the 1962 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, he went on to be named to the first NBA All-Rookie Team in 1963. After making the NBA All-Star team in 1966 and 1968, he signed with the Utah Stars in the rival American Basketball Association (ABA).
Beatty led the Stars in scoring and rebounding in the 1970 and 1971 regular season and playoffs and set an ABA record with  55.6%. percentage shooting, while leading the Stars to the 1971 ABA championship.
He set a team record with 28 rebounds against the Virginia Squires in 1971.
After three more seasons with the Stars, he returned to the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers and retired in 1975 with a career 17 ppg  and combined ABA/NBA totals of 15,207 points and 9,665 rebounds.
He served as a coach for the ABA’s Virginia Squires  during the 1975-76 season.
Beatty was named president of ABA Players’ Association and spokesman during the ABA-NBA merger.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  2016
ABA All-Time Team
Prairie View A&M Hall of Fame
SWAC Hall of Fame

Norfolk State University


Bobby Dandridge starred in basketball at Maggie Walker High School in Richmond, Virginia.
He teamed up with Pee Wee Kirkland at Norfolk State to lead the Spartans to two NCAA Division II Men’s Tournaments and a CIAA title in 1968 with a 25-2 record under head coach Ernie Fears.
The Spartans lost in the second round of the 1968 NCAA Division II playoffs to Ashland College, but came back the next year with after a 21-4 season and lost Old Dominion in the first round of the tournament.
Dandridge was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels in the 1969 American Basketball Association draft and by the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth round (no. 45 overall) of the 1969 NBA Draft.
He joined Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Oscar Robinson to capture the 1971 NBA title. Dandridge nearly averaged a double-double for the series. 
In 1978, this time playing for the Washington Bullets, Dandridge averaged 20 points per contest and pulled down seven rebounds playing alongside the great Elvin Hayes and the incomparable Wes Unseld to win the NBA championship.
The four-time NBA All-Star was named All-NBA Second Team and All-Defensive First Team in 1979. Career-wise, he averaged 18.5 points per game in 839 regular season games, and 20 points per game in 98 playoff games.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  2021
Norfolk State Hall of Fame
CIAA Hall of Fame

Virginia Union University

Ben Wallace was All-State in basketball, baseball, and football and lettered in track at Central High School in White Hall, Alabama. He attended Cuyahoga Community College and was a defensive staple as he averaged 17.0 rebounds and 6.9 blocks per game for two years.
He transferred to Virginia Union University and led the Panthers to a 28–3 record and a Division II Final Four appearance. He averaged 13.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds.
In his senior season, he was named to the All-CIAA First-Team and NABC Div. II All-American First Team.
Ben went undrafted and played in Italy before signing as a free agent by the Washington Bullets in the 1996. He was traded to the Orlando Magic in 1999 and in 2000 to the Detroit Pistons.
In six seasons with the Pistons (2000–2006), Wallace made two NBA Finals appearances (2004 and 2005) and won a NBA championship in 2004.
He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, (2002–2003, 2005–2006), a record he shares with Dikembe Mutombo.
He signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2006, and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and rejoined the Pistons in 2009.
Wallace broke Avery Johnson’s record for most games played by an undrafted player – 1055 since the NBA/ABA merger.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame   2021

Bob Hughes, Texas Southern

Texas Southern University/
Tulsa University

Bob Hughes joined the Army after high school and at 6’6″, he was recruited to played basketball on a special unit that was the first integrated team he ever played on.
After military service, legendary head coach Edward H. Adams offered him a basketball scholarship to Texas Southern University where he became an All-American player.
He joined Marques Haynes’ barnstorming Harlem Magicians in 1954, and was selected by the Boston Celtics as a supplemental draft pick in 1955 NBA Draft but didn’t make the team.
Hughes returned to the Magicians in 1955, but a ruptured Achilles tendon later that season forced him to give up playing basketball.
He returned home to Oklahoma and completed his degree at the University of Tulsa in 1957.
Hughes’ high school coaching career began at I. M. Terrell High School, in Fort Worth, Texas (an all-black high school) during segregation. Hughes led Terrell to three PVIL state championships and one runner up in the five years from 1963 to 1967. After segregation ended, I.M. Terrell was shut down in 1973.
Hughes began coaching at Dunbar High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District and the winning tradition blossomed.
Dunbar, under Hughes, won two state titles, finished as state runner-up three times, and made 12 final four appearances between 1977 and 2003, including ten final fours in the 17-year run between 1977 and 1993.

Texas Basketball Hall of Fame 1993
National High School Basketball Hall of Fame 2003
Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame 2013
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2017

Tennessee State A&I University

In the winter of 1954, the Tennessee A&I Tigers rolled into Kansas City, Missouri to play in the first integrated NAIA Christmas Tournament.
The Tigers, coached by John McLendon, a disciple of the game’s inventor James Naismith, represented more than great basketball on the way to winning that holiday tournament that year.
The all-black Tigers represented the future of basketball, and the soul of an entire nation.
Three years later, Tennessee A&I would win the 1957 NAIA national championship, making the Tigers the first historically black college to win a national title in basketball.
Led by Dick “Skull” Barnett and John “Rabbit” Barnhill, Tennessee A&I perfected the fast-break offense and full-court pressure McLendon preached.
No other team in the country could keep pace with the Tigers. The following year, Barnett and Barnhill led the way again as the Tigers, less an underdog than the year prior, steamrolled the field to win a second national championship.
By year three, the Tennessee A&I fast break was the unstoppable force running all the way to a third consecutive national title.
Tennessee A&I was the first team to win three consecutive national championships, and along the way, the Tigers proved that America was ready for change.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  2019

hugh evansNorth Carollina A&T ’50

Evans was a teammate of Al Attles at A&T and was  the 12th round pick by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1962 NBA Draft .
In the 1960s, Evans became a basketball referee in the National Basketball Association and spent 28 seasons, and officiated more than 2,000 games, including 170 playoff games and 35 Finals games. He called games that involved Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson and was on the court for Game 6 of the 1992 NBA Finals when Jordan went on his 3-point streak. His final game was Game 4 of the 2001 NBA Finals between Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He worked 1,969 regular season NBA games and 35 NBA Finals games. Evans was ranked the second best official in the league in the 1995-96 NBA season. He worked in his final game in the 2001 NBA Finals.
He serves as an assistant supervisor of officials in the NBA front office.
He was Inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2022.

Tennessee State A&I
First Black college team to win a major national championship and first college program to win three consecutive basketball national championships. The Tigers were led by Hall of Fame coach John McLendon (1979 & 2016) and players Dick Barnett and John “Rabbit” Barnhill.


John B. McLendon, Jr.Kansas University ’34

Video Legend: 1   2 
(A major contributor to the development of modern basketball in the college and professional ranks). 
Studied basketball under Dr. James Naismith at Kansas University. 
As head coach at North Carolina College for Negroes, he led the Eagles to 8 CIAA Championships (1941, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1949–50, 1952)
Led Tennessee State to 3 straight NAIA Men’s Basketball National Champions (1957-59)
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  2016, 1979
National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame
CIAA Hall of Fame  1978
Career record: 523 -165

Morgan State University ’45

Video Legend: 1  2  
Gaines was named NCAA Coach of the Year as he led the Winston Salem State Rams to the NCAA Div. II Championship in 1967.
Naismith Hall of Fame 1982
CIAA Hall of Fame
NAIA Helms Hall of Fame
North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Career Record: 828–447  (*5 all-time best)

Vivian Stringer, head basketball coach- Cheyney
Slippery Rock University ’70

Video Legend:  1   2  
*First coach to take 3 different teams to the NCAA Final Four playoffs.
Career Record:
Cheyney State: 251-51
Iowa University: 269-84
Rutgers University: 322-160
Combined Record: 1055-426, (fifth all-time, NCAA women’s basketball) 
#Won 5 conference titles
Naismith Hall of Fame   2008
Cheyney State Hall of Fame
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

John Chaney
Bethune Cookman College (University) ’55

Video Legend:  1   2
Led Cheyney State College to the 1978 NCAA Division II Championship.
Named Division II National Coach of the Year, 1978.
At Temple University: 8 A-10 regular-season titles, 19885, ’87-88
6 A-10 Tournaments, 1985-88, ’90, 00-01 
Henry Iba Award, 1987, ’88
A-10 Coach of the Year, 1984-84, ’87-88, 2000
NABC Coach of the Year, 1988
AP Coach of the Year/UPI Coach of the Year, 1988
Naismith Hall of Fame, 2000
College Basketball Hall of Fame, 2006
Career record: 741–312 


Ed Henderson, howard

Howard University ’08

The “Father of Black Basketball”,

Ed Henderson introduced basketball to African Americans in Washington, D.C., in 1904, and was Washington’s first male African American physical education teacher (and possibly the first in the country).
Henderson taught physical education to African Americans and organized athletic activities in Washington, D.C., and Fairfax County, Virginia.
Like John B. McLendon, Jr., Henderson was influenced by Dr. James Naismith and learned the then-new game of basketball which he introduced to other young black men at the 12th Street (Colored) YMCA upon returning to Washington, D.C.
He helped organize:
the first all-black amateur athletic association, the Interscholastic Athletic Association (1906),
the Washington, D.C., Public School Athletic League (1906)
and the Eastern Board of Officials (1905) (a training center that, for decades was the go-to pool for highly qualified African American referees).
Henderson authored several books about African American participation in sports, including his landmark work, The Negro in Sports (Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, Inc., 1939).
In 1910–1913, Henderson co-authored an annual handbook published by the Spalding sports company, entitled, Official Handbook of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Middle Atlantic States, which chronicled the birth of organized sports among African Americans along the Eastern seaboard.
Henderson became the first black man to receive a National Honor Fellowship in the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
He was inducted into the posthumously into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Library of Virginia honored Henderson as one of its Strong Men and Women in 2018.
The University of the District of Columbia renamed building 47 on their campus after Henderson in 2022.

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