Earl Lloyd: First Black NBA Player

On Oct. 31, 1950, Earl Lloyd took the court as a member of the now-long-defunct Washington Capitols basketball team for a game against the Rochester Royals in New York. Lloyd’s six points and 10 rebounds were no game-changer, but his performance definitely was in another sense: It was the first time that an African American player appeared in a National Basketball Association game. >> Famous People We’ve Lost in 2015 Here are some facts about Lloyd, who passed away on …

Tom Verna: He Invented Instant Replay

There was a time when sports fans watching a live game on TV had no choice but to play close attention throughout. If they missed a spectacular play while reaching for the bowl of chips, they didn’t get a second chance to see it. TV sports director and producer Tony Verna changed that. Verna, who passed away on Jan. 18 at age 81, introduced the instant replay in 1963, basically videotaping the game and rerunning key moments to fill time …

Why Is Basketball Legend Bill Russell Suing the NCAA?

This month, after five years of legal wrangling, the NCAA finally finds itself facing off in court against basketball legends Ed O’Bannon, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and more than a dozen other former college athletes, some long since graduated and even retired from professional sports. The issue in the class-action lawsuit? Whether former student athletes should, on graduation, be entitled to financial compensation for commercial uses of their images by the NCAA. The NCAA, which governs all college sports, has …

Got Foot Problems? The President Feels Your Pain

President Obama’s latest physical examination found him in excellent health, except for one nagging little pain: no, not his political critics. He has “recurrent plantar fasciitis” of the right foot, says his physician. The condition (pronounced PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain, typically occurring in adults ages 40 to 60 (the president is 52). It happens when the thick, protective ligament that runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes, called …

Sterling? To Boomers, Athletes’ Protests Are Nothing New

Younger sports fans may have been shocked to see players from the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat wearing their warmup jerseys inside-out in silent protest against Clippers owner Donald Sterling, after a recording surfaced of a telephone call in which Sterling allegedly told his then-girlfriend not to bring African-American guests to the team’s games. Sterling subsequently was banned for life by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. To boomers, though, the demonstrations may have seemed tepid compared with the defiant …

Pat Summitt presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

The following is a guest post form Tara Finnegan Coates of AARP’s Media Content Team. Legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the annual ESPY awards last night in Los Angeles. Summitt stepped down as head coach this past April after completing her 38th season. She was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, in August 2011. Her legacy at Tennessee includes 8 NCAA titles and 1,098 career victories …