The National Basketball Association was established in 1946 as a professional basketball league. Originally named the Basketball Association of America, the league was renamed in 1949, after merging with its 12-year old rival, the National Basketball League.
- 1 Integration
- 2 Hall of Fame
- 3 Current Players
- 4 Notable Achievers
- 5 Coaches
- 6 Front Office Executives
- 7 Sports Broadcasters
- 8 Attorneys, Agents, and Consultants
- 9 Updates
Professional basketball was integrated in the early years of the National Basketball League, which was established in 1937, during the build up to the Second World War. By the 1942-43 season, with many white players in the armed forces, two NBL franchises, the Toledo Jim White Chevrolets and the Chicago Studebakers, filled their rosters by signing African-American players. The color line in basketball was further crossed in 1949 when the NBL awarded a franchise to the New York Renaissance, an all-black barnstorming team, to replace the Detroit Vagabond Kings, who folded after playing 19 games of the 1948-49 season. Renamed the Rens and moving to Dayton, Ohio, the black team inherited the Detroit franchise's 2-17 record, and finished the season with an overall record of 16-43. At the end of the season, NBL and BBA ended their three-year battle for fans by merging to become the NBA. By August 1949, most of the teams in the NBL had been absorbed by the fledging NBA. The Rens, however, were left out of the merger, and they were forced to disband as the NBA began its inaugural 1949–50 season as an all-white league.
In April 1950, the National Basketball Association integrated when Chuck Cooper was drafted by Boston Celtics in second round and Earl Lloyd was drafted by Washington Capitols in the ninth round. Harold Hunter was also drafted by the Capitols in the tenth round and he was the first to sign an NBA contract. But was cut in training camp and never played an NBA game. One month later, the New York Knicks offered a contract to Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton, a former member of the New York Rens and Harlem Globetrotters. Hank DeZonie, a former member of the Dayton Rens team, signed a contract with the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, becoming the fourth black player in the NBA
According to the TIDES Racial and Gender Report Card, in 2015-16, there were 333 African-American players in the NBA, making up 74.3 percent of the league total.
Hall of Fame
The following inductees in the National Basketball Association's Hall of Fame are members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
|Oscar Robertson||PG||Bucks||1960 to 1974||1980||Beta Eta||1960|
|Wilt Chamberlain||C||Lakers||1959 to 1973||1979||Mu||1957|
|Bill Russell||C||Celtics||1956 to 1969||1975||Gamma Alpha||1955|
|Sam Jones||SG||Celtics||1957 to 1969||1984||Boston (MA)||1960|
The following National Basketball Association head coaches and assistants are members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
|Alex English||Assistant||Kings||2012 to 2013||Zeta Epsilon||1973|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Int. Head||Lakers||2012 to 2012||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Alex English||Assistant||Raptors||2004 to 2011||Zeta Epsilon||1973|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Head||Bobcats||2004 to 2007||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Alex English||Assistant||76ers||2002 to 2003||Zeta Epsilon||1973|
|Alex English||Assistant||Hawks||2001 to 2002||Zeta Epsilon||1973|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Head||Wizards||1996 to 1999||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Head||Nuggets||1994 to 1996||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Head||Supersonics||1985 to 1990||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Bill Russell||Head||Kings||1987 to 1988||Gamma Alpha||1955|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||Assistant||Bullets||1973 to 1985||Delta Epsilon||1967|
|Bill Russell||Head||Supersonics||1973 to 1977||Gamma Alpha||1955|
|Bill Russell||Head||Celtics||1966 to 1969||Gamma Alpha||1955|
Front Office Executives
The following league and team executives in the National Basketball Association are members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
National Basketball Association
- Mark A. Tatum (Iota Phi, 1989) has been the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association since 2014. He has been instrumental in the game's global growth but has also been involved in collective bargaining, television deals and partnerships with major sponsors.
- Oris R. Stuart III (Eta Sigma, 1983) has been a senior vice president, and chief diversity and inclusion officer at the National Basketball League since 2015. He is responsible for overseeing diversity and inclusion strategies for the NBA, the WNBA, and the NBA D-League.
- Anshell J. Boggs (Burlington-Camden Alumni [NJ] Alumni, 1999) has been a vice president at the National Basketball Association since 2007. He is responsible for risk management.
National Basketball Players Association
- David Foster (Eta Delta, 1999) has been a deputy general counsel at the National Basketball Players Association since 2015. In his role, he assists union leaders in negotiating agreements with the league. A former local and federal prosecutor, he work also involves intervening on behalf of the union in criminal matters affecting players.
- Marcus Minifee (Iota Kappa, 1991) joined the Brooklyn Nets in October 2017 as a vice president of marketing.
- Robert L. Johnson (Beta, 1965) acquired majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2003. The transaction was funded from the sale proceeds of his 42 percent stake in Black Entertainment Television which was acquired by Viacom two years earlier for $3.3 billion. In 2010, Johnson sold his majority stake in the team to Michael Jordan, but remains a minority investor.
- Fred A. Whitfield (Greensboro [NC] Alumni, 1983) is the president, chief operating officer, and a minority owner at Hornets Basketball Holdings, the parent company of the Charlotte franchise. In this role, he oversees all business operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, the Charlotte Sting, and the publicly-funded Spectrum Center arena in downtown Charlotte. A long-time friend of Michael Jordan, he came into this role in 2010 when the Hall of Fame star acquired a majority stake in the team.
- Bernie Bickerstaff (Delta Epsilon, 1967) was hired in 2003 to become the expansion Charlotte Bobcats' first head coach and general manager.
- Bernie Bickerstaff (Delta Epsilon, 1967) was the Denver Nuggets' president and general manager from 1990 to 1997, also coaching the team from 1994 to 1996.
New York Knicks
- Allan Houston (Mu Rho, 1993) retired from basketball in 2008 and was hired as the assistant general manager of the Knicks. In 2013, he was also named general manager of the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League.
- Alex English (Zeta Epsilon, 1973) was the director of player development and an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. He has also been an active participant in the SportsUnited sports envoy program for the United States Department of State, where he conducts basketball clinics and events that reached more than 1900 youth from underserved areas internationally.
- Michael Lewellen (Theta Mu, 1979) has been a senior vice president at the Portland Trailblazers since 2012. He is responsible for the team's communications & public engagements.
The following sports media personalities are members of Kappa Alpha Psi. See NFL Broadcasters for sports media personalities who exclusively cover the National Football League.
- Anthony Gilbert (Lambda, 1997) is primarily a basketball journalist whose commentary address sports culture and social trends. He writes for SLAM Magazine, and has been published in HOOP Magazine, Vibe, and Complex. His broadcast appearances include segments on ESPN, BET, MTV, Style Network, and MSG Network.
- Augustus Cornelius "Gus" Johnson Jr. (Silver Spring [MD] Alumni, 1992) is a basketball, football, and boxing sportscaster. Formerly employed by CBS Sports, he currently calls play-by-play for Fox Sports, Showtime, and the Big Ten Network. Johnson is known primarily for his enthusiasm and excitement that he shares with the game. In 2014, Johnson called a miracle Hail Mary that allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to beat the Houston Texans with 0:04 on the clock.
- Christopher D. "Chris" Broussard (Iota Nu, 1987) is primarily a basketball sports analyst for ESPN. A columnist for ESPN Magazine and ESPN.com, he also makes appearances as an analyst on ESPN's NBA Fastbreak.
- Bryan E. Burwell (Alpha Phi, 1975) was a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and as on-air talent on CBS Sports 920 in St. Louis, weekday afternoons. He worked as an on-air talent for ESPN Radio, and was featured on ESPN's Jim Rome is Burning and The Sports Reporters. Burwell died on December 4, 2014, after a short battle with cancer.
- Ralph H. Wiley (Beta Phi, 1972) was a columnist for Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Page 2; he also wrote sports articles for GQ, Premiere, and National Geographic. Wiley's career as a television broadcaster included a co-anchor role on ESPN's The Sports Reporters and regular guest appearances on SportsCenter. Wiley died on June 13, 2004, after suffering a heart attack.
Attorneys, Agents, and Consultants
The following sports agents are members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
- Tyrone Thomas (Mu Chi, 1992) is a sports attorney and partner in the Washington, DC office of Mintz Levin. He represents clients on complex legal issues in athletics. He has served as a legal analyst for the New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sports Business Journal, and the Sports Litigation Alert.
- Anthony Hilliard (Theta Iota, 1982) is a sports attorney and the North American regional head for Interperformances, an Italian sports marketing agency. He is primarily responsibility for negotiating contracts on behalf of European players who play for NBA, NFL, and MLS teams. He also represents international players who enter FIBA, WTA and LPGA competitions, as well as American players who play for CFL and FIFA teams.
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