Chuck Cooper (basketball)

Chuck Cooper (basketball)
Chuck Cooper
No. 11, 15, 6
Small forward / Shooting guard
Personal information
Date of birth September 29, 1926(1926-09-29)
Place of birth Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Date of death February 5, 1984(1984-02-05) (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
19501954 Boston Celtics
19541956 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
Stats at

Charles Henry "Chuck" Cooper (September 29, 1926 – February 5, 1984) was an American professional basketball player. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and died there as well.

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.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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