Earl Lloyd is not a common name in sports, but it’s about to be a household one. NBA superstars Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony and Kawhi Leonard are among the executive producers of “The First To Do It.”
Abramorama, Constant Beta, and Creative Control have collaborated to ensure the North American distribution of The First to Do It, a documentary about Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in the NBA.
It is a star-studded documentary with start such as Anthony, Leonard and Chris Paul, as well as Hall of Fame players Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing and Bob Lanier all having appearances throughout. Comedian and Blackish star, Deon Cole, provides the voice of Lloyd, who quietly passed away in 2015 at the age of 86.
‘The First’ to honor Earl Lloyd’s legacy
The First to Do It recounts Lloyd’s journey, from growing up in deeply segregated Alexandria, Virginia, to witnessing the election and re-election of first black President of the United States. It also discusses how the modern game was formed, the rise and fall of the Harlem Globetrotters and the introduction of the 24-second shooting clock. Through the voices of current NBA stars, it also examines the legacy of desegregation in America, and the ongoing role basketball has played in America’s inner cities. The film was made with full cooperation of the Lloyd family and the blessing of the NBA. The film is set to premiere the weekend of October 6th at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
— The Kobie Chronicles (@KobieChronicles) November 1, 2016
Earl Lloyd is a name everyone should know
“The story of Earl Lloyd is an important part of the history of professional basketball in the US. His achievements and the times in which he lived provide important lessons for players and fans today. Our support of this film reflects our commitment to preserving the legacy of our players and our game, and the positive impacts that both have had on our society,” said Sherrie Deans, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation. Lloyd deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Michael Jordan.
There were other players that started that season with Lloyd as well, but it is unclear if the documentary will cover them.