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|[[category:Detroit Pistons|Cooper, Chuck]]||[[category:Detroit Pistons|Cooper, Chuck]]|
|[[category:Duquesne Dukes|Cooper, Chuck]]||[[category:Duquesne Dukes|Cooper, Chuck]]|
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Revision as of 23:03, 6 April 2012
|No. 11, 15, 6|
|Date of birth: September 29, 1926|
|Place of birth: February 5, 1984 (aged 57)|
|Height: 6 ft 5 in||Weight: 210 lbs|
|NBA Draft:||1950; Round: 2 / Pick: 13th|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Chuck Cooper at NBA.com|
Charles Henry Cooper (September 29, 1926 - February 5, 1984), better known as Chuck Cooper, was 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.
- Shortly afterwards, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract with an NBA team.
- Finally, at the start of the 1950-51 season, Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in an NBA game, as his team started its season one day before Cooper's and four days before Clifton's.
Cooper went on to have a fair NBA career. He played four years with the Celtics, then was traded to the Milwaukee Hawks before ending his career as a member of the Fort Wayne Pistons. 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. He did not take any three point shots; three point shots were not instituted in the NBA until about 20 years after Cooper stopped playing.
During his six season NBA career, Cooper played a total of 409 games, scoring 2,725 points for an average of 6.7 points per game, with 2431 rebounds for an average of 5.9 per game.