Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd

Overview

In 1950, future Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game. A warm and gracious man, widely loved and respected, Lloyd has lived what he describes as an "incredible journey" and has spent eighty years gathering passionate lessons from that experience. He was born in Virginia, a state he describes as "the cradle of segregation," only sixty-two years after the end of the Civil War. Nicknamed "Moonfixer" in college, Lloyd led West Virginia State to ...

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Overview

In 1950, future Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game. A warm and gracious man, widely loved and respected, Lloyd has lived what he describes as an "incredible journey" and has spent eighty years gathering passionate lessons from that experience. He was born in Virginia, a state he describes as "the cradle of segregation," only sixty-two years after the end of the Civil War. Nicknamed "Moonfixer" in college, Lloyd led West Virginia State to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships and was named All-American twice. One of three African Americans to enter the NBA at that time, Lloyd played seven games for the Washington Capitals before the team folded. He joined the Syracuse Nationals for six seasons and later played for the Detroit Pistons before he retired in 1961. Throughout his career, he quietly endured the overwhelming slights and exclusions that went with being black in America. Yet he has also lived to see basketball-a demonstration of art, power, and pride-become the black national pastime and to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. In a series of extraordinary conversations with Sean Kirst, Lloyd reveals his fierce determination to succeed, his frustration with the plight of many young black men, and his sincere desire for the nation to achieve true equality among its citizens. Sean Kirst is a columnist for the Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York. He was a contributing editor for Empire State Report, a political magazine in New York, and he is the author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig. Kirst was awarded the 2008 Ernie Pyle Journalism Award for human interest writing, given by the Scripps HowardFoundation to the one newspaper writer nationwide who most exemplifies the works of Pyle, a famed World War II correspondent.

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Editorial Reviews

Erie Times News
"Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd," is a must read for not only NBA fans, but those who love stories about defying the odds.
Michigan Chronicle
Lloyd's book is about life lessons, the value of education, family and community footprints and the human spirit faced with daunting social challenges.
VOYA - Jennifer Rummel
The world was a different place in the 1950s. Racial prejudice and tendencies ran deep within this county. Barriers needed to be broken. Earl Lloyd broke one of them by becoming one of the first black men to play in the NBA. While humble, Earl Lloyd frequently talks about his past in sports. Very athletic, he chose between baseball and basketball. Moonfixer talks a great deal about his childhood; his strength and courage; his support system, which he calls "handprints"; and not disappointing all the people who helped him along the way. Moonfixer focuses mostly on Lloyd's life and not his basketball career. It reads like an interview with the legendary player rather than a nonfiction book. Lloyd tackles the social issues of the time in a truthful manner. The prologue mentions the presidential race, but from then on, Lloyd focuses on the social aspect of his life. His open manner reveals his anger at the world and how some people never received a chance in life. He credits all those who helped him succeed in a world that discriminated against his race. Lloyd knew how to stay out of trouble, and he never had a conversation with a white man until after college. Moonfixer is a firsthand account of the past and a great social commentary of a troubling time during the fight for equal rights. Reviewer: Jennifer Rummel
Yahoo Sports-BDL Review NBA Blog
A compelling read capable of both shaking you up and reaffirming your love of what he [Earl Lloyd]calls "a
game where the ball knows no prejudice; everybody touches it, and everybody touches each other.
SLAM Magazine
In 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson first strode across the baseball diamond, Earl Lloyd became the first black man to play in the NBA . . . . Moonfixer, Earl Lloyd's first-person account of his life, reads like a good talk with your grandfather: It teaches you a lot of historical lessons [and] makes you want to hear more.
Detroit Free Press
When NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd was a freshman at West Virginia State in the late 1940s, he was the tallest man on campus.
At 6-feet-5, it wasn't uncommon for Lloyd's friends to jokingly ask him to "fix the moon," so that the night might fall just so as they went out on their dates . . . . Former [Detroit] Piston Earl Lloyd was an NBA pioneer.. [His] autobiography tells [the] story of the league's first African-American player.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815609469
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2010
  • Pages: 142
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Kirst is a columnist for the Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York. He was a contributing editor for Empire State Report, a political magazine in New York, and he is the author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig. Kirst was awarded the 2008 Ernie Pyle Journalism Award for human interest writing, given by the Scripps Howard Foundation to the one newspaper writer nationwide who most exemplifies the works of Pyle, a famed World War II correspondent.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword Dave Bing Bing, Dave

Preface: Earl Lloyd and Syracuse Sean Kirst Kirst, Sean

A Note to Readers Sean Kirst Kirst, Sean

Prologue: Lloyd on Obama, Part One 1

1 Jackie 7

2 Lemonade! 13

3 Bootstraps, Anyone? 21

4 A Neighborhood Could Play with One Ball 41

5 Cocoon and Butterfly 47

6 The Beginning 59

7 Decisions 68

8 Timing 74

9 The Ice Bucket 87

10 Jazz 96

11 Exclamation 101

Epilogue: Lloyd on Obama, Part Two 109

App. A Sean Kirst on Earl Lloyd and the Fifteenth Ward 115

App. B Earl Lloyd's Career, Playoff, and Coaching Statistics (NBA) 135

Index 137

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    Five Stars - A read and share book!

    Pick up two copies of this book and share one copy with someone's child! I am old enough to have heard versions of these stories but the way Mr. Lloyd takes you on his journey you want to share the book to encourage others. Part basketball epic but mostly a blessed life shared through stories about the people who shaped the man and the basketball player.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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