Allen Walter Ray Jr. (1975- )
Ray Allen is an American former professional basketball player. He played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in September 2018.
Archibald Nathaniel (1948 - )
Tiny Archibald is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent 14 years playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), most notably with the Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City–Omaha Kings and Boston Celtics. In 1991, he was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ashe Arthur (1943-1993)
Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.’s preliminary research of early Black basketball in his seminal book, A Hard Road to Glory: The History of the African American Athlete provides the inspiration that leads to the creation of Black Fives, Inc. in 2002.
Attles Al (1936- )
Al Attles is an American former professional basketball player and coach best known for his longtime association with the Golden State Warriors. Nicknamed the "Destroyer", he spent his entire 11 seasons (1960–1971) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the team. On April 6th 2019, Attles was chosen as member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Class of 2019.
Barkley Charles (1963- )
Charles Barkley is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "Sir Charles" and "the Round Mound of Rebound", Barkley established himself as one of the National Basketball Association's most dominant power forwards. Barkley was an 11-time NBA All-Star, an 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, and the 1993 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Barksdale Don (1923-1993)
He was a pioneer as an African-American basketball player, becoming the first to be named NCAA All-American, the first to play on the United States men's Olympic basketball team, and the first to play in a National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game.
Cash Swin (1979- )
A prolific scorer and rebounder, as well as a capable ball handler and defender, she helped lead the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to national titles in 2000 and 2002. In her second WNBA season, she led the Detroit Shock to their first ever WNBA title.
Catchings Tamika (1979- )
Catchings has won a WNBA championship (2012), WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (2011), WNBA Finals MVP Award (2012), five WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012), four Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2002).
Chamberlain Wilt (1936-1999)
Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, which he accomplished seven times. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.
Charles Tina (1988- )
Originally from Jamaica, New York, Charles was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. In 2009 and 2010, she and teammate Maya Moore led the Connecticut Huskies to two undefeated national championships. She has won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
Clayton Zach (1913-1997)
Clayton played guard for the New York “Rens” and Washington Bears from 1936 to 1946, winning two World Championship of Professional Basketball titles
Nat Sweetwater Clifton was the first African American to sign an NBA contract. Cooper, Lloyd, and Clifton became pioneers for today's African-American basketball players.
Cooper “Tarzan” Charles (1907-1980)
Charles “Tarzan” Cooper, 6 ft 4 in (193 cm), has been called the greatest center that ever played by Hall of Famer Joe Lapchick, center for the rival Original Celtics. He played for the Philadelphia Panthers and Philadelphia Saints until 1929 when he joined the New York Renaissance or Rens for eleven seasons. All were independent teams because the early professional leagues were all white.
He was the first African-American to be drafted by an NBA team.
Cooper-Dyke Cynthia (1963- )
The two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player led the Houston Comets to four consecutive WNBA championships and was named Finals MVP each time. A four-time All-WNBA First Team performer, Cooper led the league in scoring three times.
Diggins Skylar (1990- )
Smith Diggins was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA Draft. In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American. She finished her Notre Dame career ranked first in points and steals, second in assists, and as a two-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation.
Douglas Bob (1882- 1979)
Bob Douglas was the founder of the New York Renaissance basketball team, the first fully all-black professional black-owned basketball team. Nicknamed the "Father of Black Professional Basketball", Douglas owned and coached the Rens from 1923 to 1949. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1972, the first African American enshrined.
Drexler Austin Clyde (1962- )
Clyde "the Glide" Drexler is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "Clyde the Glide", he played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a ten-time NBA All-Star and named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Drexler won an NBA championship with Houston in 1995, and earned a gold medal on the 1992 United States Olympic team known as "The Dream Team". He was inducted twice into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2004 for his individual career and in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team".
Duncan Timothy Theodore (1976- )
He is often regarded as the greatest power forward of all time, and as one of the greatest players in NBA history. He spent his entire 19-year playing career with the Spurs.
Earvin Magic Johnson (1959- )
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a brainstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games.
Edwards Teresa (1964- )
She played professionally for the Atlanta Glory in the upstart American Basketball League averaging better than 20 points and 6 assists per game. In 2000, Edwards won her final medal in international competition - gold of course - as the first American to appear in five Olympic Games.
Dr. J, as he was commonly known, helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA) and was the best-known player in that league when it merged into the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–76 season.
Ewing Aloysius Patrick (1962)
Patrick Ewing is a Jamaican-American former professional player. He played most of his career as the starting center for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) before ending his playing career with brief stints with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic.
Walter Frazier is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As their floor general and top perimeter defender, he led the New York Knicks to the franchise's only two championships (1970 and 1973), and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Garnett Kevin Maurice (1976- )
Kevin Garnett is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, He is one of four NBA players to win both the Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Gates Pop (1917-1999)
William Penn “Pop” Gates, along with William "Dolly" King, were the first two African-American players in the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1946.
Grant Horace Junior (1965- )
Horace Grant is an American retired basketball player. He attended and played college basketball at Clemson University before playing professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he became a four-time champion with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Gregory George Jr (1906 – 1994)
George Gregory was a basketball player for Columbia University. In 1931, he became the first black basketball player to be selected as an All-American leading the Columbia Lions basketball team. He would later serve on the New York City Civil Service Commission and was active as a community leader in Harlem.
Griner Brittney (1990- )
She is the only NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Harris Lusia (1955- )
She played for Delta State University and won three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championships, the predecessors to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships. She represented the United States' national team and won the silver medal in the 1976 Olympic Games, the first ever women's basketball tournament in the Olympic Games. She was the first and only woman ever officially drafted by the National Basketball Association (NBA), a men's professional basketball league. For her achievements, Harris has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Henderson Edwin Bancroft (1883-1977)
The "Father of Black Basketball," introduced basketball to African Americans in Washington, D.C. in 1904, and was Washington's first male African American physical education teacher.
Hill Grant (1972- )
Hill was branded as one of the best players in Duke history and as one of the greatest college basketball players of his era.
Holdsclaw Chamique (1977- )
Holdsclaw is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Tennessee in men’s or women’s basketball. Holdsclaw guided the Lady Vols to three NCAA National Championships (1996, 1997, 1998). She was a four-time Kodak/WBCA All-American and two-time Naismith Player of the Year. Holdsclaw was named the Honda-Broderick Award winner in 1998 and was named the James E. Sullivan award winner for top amateur athlete in the U.S. in 1998.She was named WNBA Rookie of the Year in 1999 and was a WNBA All-Star six times.
Huiswoud began his referee career in 1917 and became the first basketball referee of African descent certified by the A.A.U. to officiate a formally organized game. He helped turn that negative race identity around.
Isaacs “Boy Wonder” John (1915-2009)
With the Rens (New York Renaissance basketball team, the first fully all-black professional black-owned basketball team), Isaacs led the team to season records of 122-19, 121-19, and 127-15. They won the first World Professional Basketball Tournament, held in 1939 at Chicago Stadium and sponsored by the Chicago Herald American, with the team making it to the finals by beating the Harlem Globetrotters of Chicago 27–23, to face the Oshkosh All-Stars, who lost to the Rens 34–25 in the tournament final.
Jabbar Abdul Kareem
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is an American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
James holds the all-time record for playoffs points, is third in all-time points, and eighth in all-time assists. James was selected to the All-NBA First Team twelve times (all-time record), made the All-Defensive First Team five times, and has played in sixteen All-Star Games, in which he was selected All-Star MVP three times.
MJ’s biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." ─ Enough said.
Kemp Travis Shawn (1969- )
Shawn Kemp is an American former professional basketball player, who played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Orlando Magic in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed the Reign Man, he was a six-time NBA All-Star and a three-time All-NBA Second Team member.
Lawson Kara (1981- )
Lawson primarily played as a shooting guard. She won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Lawson retired from the WNBA in 2015 to focus on her broadcasting career.
Leslie Lisa (1972- )
An eight-time All Star and two-time world champion, Leslie became the face of the WNBA. In 2002, Leslie gave Sparks fans a reason to get out of their seats when she became the first player to dunk in a WNBA game and then led the Sparks to the franchise's second championship, winning her second Finals MVP. The three-time league MVP retired as the all-time leading rebounder in WNBA history and was an eight-time First Team All-WNBA performer.
He was the first African American player to have played a game in the NBA.
Malone Anthony Karl (1963- )
Karl Malone is an American retired professional basketball player. Nicknamed "the Mailman", he is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history.
Malone Eugene Moses ( 1955 – 2015)
was an American basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1974 through 1995. A center, he was named the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times, was a 12-time NBA All-Star and an eight-time All-NBA Team selection. Malone led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA championship in 1983, winning both the league and Finals MVP. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2001.
McCoughtry Angel (1986- )
She was selected first overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2009 WNBA Draft and is considered its franchise player. She's also played overseas in Turkey, Slovakia, Lebanon, Hungary and Russia.
McCray Nikki (1971- )
A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time WNBA All-Star, she finished her WNBA career with 2,528 points. She was the 1996-97 ABL Most Valuable Player, leading the Columbus Quest to the 1996-97 League Championship. She helped guide USA Basketball to the 1993 FIBA Americas Championship, and the 1998 FIBA World Championship
Miller Cheryl (1964- )
She earned All-America honours in each of her four seasons and was a three-time NCAA player of the year selection (1984–86). In her 128-game career Miller established herself among the all-time NCAA leaders with 3,018 points (23.6 per game) and 1,534 rebounds (12.0 per game). At the close of her collegiate career, she was second in NCAA tournament career scoring with 333 points (20.8 per game) and first in career rebounding with 170 (10.6 per game).
Miller Reginald Wayne (1965- )
Reggie Miller is an American former professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career with the Indiana Pacers. Miller was known for his precision three-point shooting. When he retired, he held the record for most career 3-point field goals made. He is currently second on the list behind Ray Allen. A five-time All-Star selection, Miller led the league in free throw accuracy five times and won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Moore Maya (1989- )
Since 2011, Moore has continued to excel, both with the Lynx and with overseas teams in Europe and China. Moore has won four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017), a WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (2014), a WNBA Finals MVP Award (2013), three WNBA All-Star Game MVPs (2015, 2017, and 2018), two Olympic gold medals (2012 and 2016), a WNBA Scoring Title (2014), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2011). She has also been selected to four WNBA All-Star teams and three All-WNBA teams. In 2012, she won both the Spanish league title and EuroLeague title playing for Ros Casares Valencia. From 2013 to 2015, Moore also won the Chinese league title every year. Moore won a second Euroleague title playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg in 2018.
O'Neal Shaquille (1972- )
O'Neal established himself as an overpowering low post presence, putting up career averages of 23.7 points on .582 field goal accuracy, 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
Olajuwon Abdul (1963- )
Formerly Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. He is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was nicknamed "The Dream" during his basketball career. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 2016, he was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
Parish Lee Robert (1953- )
Robert Parish "The Chief" is an American former professional basketball player who played 21 seasons as a center in the NBA, tied for second most in league history. He played an NBA-record 1,611 regular season games in his career. Parish was known for his strong defense, high arcing jump shots, and clutch rebounding late in games. Parish was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Parker Candace (1986- )
Parker has won a WNBA championship (2016), two WNBA Most Valuable Player Awards (2008, 2013), WNBA Finals MVP Award (2016), WNBA All-Star Game MVP (2013), two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2008). Parker has been selected to six all-WNBA teams and five all-star teams, and was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year and the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season.
Pippen Maurice Scotty (1965- )
Scotty Pippen is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls into a championship team and in popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.
Posey Cumberland Jr. (1890-1946)
Posey was the best African American basketball player of his time, playing from the early 1900s (decade) through the mid-1920s. His peers and the sporting press considered him an "All-Time Immortal".
Robertson Oscar (1938- )
Nicknamed “the big O”, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season in 1962. In the 1970–71 NBA season, he was a key player on the team that brought the Bucks their only NBA title to date.
Robinson Maurice David (1965- )
David Robinson "The Admiral" is an American former professional basketball player who played for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA from 1989 to 2003. Nicknamed "the Admiral" for his service with the U.S. Navy. He is widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college basketball and NBA history.
Rose Derrick (1988- )
Derrick Rose was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and became the youngest player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 at age 22.
Russell Bill (1934- )
Russel was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He became the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement.
Salley Thomas John (1964- )
John Salley is an American former professional basketball player and talk show host. He was the first player in NBA history to win championships with three franchises (the only other being Robert Horry), as well as the first player in the NBA to win a championship in three different decades.
Scott Anton Byron (1961- )
Byron Scott is an American former professional basketball head coach and player. He last coached the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). As a player, Scott won three NBA championships with the Lakers during their Showtime era in the 1980s.
Staley Dawn (1970- )
Staley was one of the early pioneers in the mid-90s revolution of professional basketball for women, first playing in the ABL for the Richmond Rage and later in the WNBA for the Sting and Comets. Her first Olympics came in 1996, and she was honored by her countrymen in 2004 by carrying the flag into the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.
Stringer C. Vivian (1948- )
The first coach, male or female, to take three different schools to the Final Four, Stringer has been a visionary and a pioneer winning more than 800 victories while catapulting three programs to national prominence.
Swoopes Sheryl (1971- )
During her time in the WNBA, Swoopes was named MVP three times (2000, 2002, 2005) and won four straight championships as a member of the Houston Comets (1997-2000). At the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game, Swoopes was recognized as one of the 15 greatest players in league history. Her time with USA Basketball included three Olympic gold medals and one FIBA World Championships gold medal.
Tatum Goose (1921-1967)
Reece "Goose" Tatum is considered the original "clown prince"—a term first applied to seminal Chicago Crusader/Philadelphia Giant Jackie Bethards in 1933—of the Trotters. He wove numerous comic routines into his play, many of which achieved cult status. Some of these routines were based on his stature—at 6'4", it is reported that he had an arm span of about 84 inches (210 cm) and could touch his kneecaps without bending.
Thomas Lord Isiah III (1961- )
Isiah Thomas is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire professional career for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a 12-time NBA All-Star, was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson John Robert Jr. ( 1941 – 2020)
John Thompson was an American college basketball coach for the Georgetown Hoyas men's team. He became the first African-American head coach to win a major collegiate championship in basketball when he led the Hoyas to the NCAA Division I national championship in 1984.
Thompson Tina (1975- )
The nine-time All-Star and 2000 All-Star MVP always played her best game on the biggest stage. Thompson ended her career as the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer and ranked in the top three for career rebounds. Thompson won two gold medals as the second leading scorer during both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
Unseld Sissel Westley (1946 -2020)
Wes was an American professional basketball player, coach and executive. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player during his rookie season and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players in NBA history to accomplish the feat. Unseld won an NBA championship with the Bullets in 1978. After retiring from playing in 1981, he worked with the Bullets/Wizards as a vice president, head coach and general manager.
Wade Dwane (1982- )
Dwane Tyrone Wade Jr. led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring and helped them capture the gold medal. Wade is also Miami's all-time leader in points, games, assists, steals, shots made, and shots taken.
Washington Ora (1899-1971)
Ora Belle Washington played with the Germantown Hornets and Philadelphia Tribune Girls during the 1930s and 40s and won eleven straight Colored Women’s Basketball World Championship titles and twelve altogether
Weatherspoon Teresa (1965- )
Weatherspoon led the league in assists that first year and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998. The five-time WNBA All-Star led the New York Liberty to the WNBA Finals four times solidifying her status as one of the game’s all-time great winners.
Worthy Ager James (1961)
James Worthy is an American former professional basketball player. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, "Big Game James" was a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA).