NC College (NCCU) Basketball Icon Harold Hunter Dies

Harold Hunter, the first African-American to sign an NBA contract and to coach an Olympic basketball team, died today at the age of 86, the Charlotte Post reports.

Hunter, who was also the first black man to coach the U.S. Olympic basketball team, played guard at N.C. College (now N.C. Central University), where he led the Eagles to the 1950 CIAA tournament championship. On April 26, 1950, Hunter signed an NBA contract but was cut during training camp and never played a regular-season game. The first African American to play in an NBA game was another CIAA standout – West Virginia State’s Earl Lloyd.

A legendary coach at Tennessee State University, Hunter compiled a 172-67 record in national over a nine-year career in Nashville. He was inducted into the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.