Nate Sweet Wter Clifton (debout 3e au centre, avec les Harlem Globe Trotters) à, été le premier noir en NBA .
Nate Sweet Water Clifton died in 1990 at the age of sixty-two. When I read about his death in the Baltimore Sun, I felt I had lost a friend and distant mentor, because I had seen Sweet Clifton play twice, when I was a school boy growing up in Indiana. And I shall always remember the tall, strong, wiry center when he went onto the floor in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when he played for the New York Nicks. For me, and many other young African Americans, Sweet Water Clifton, one of the first two black Americans to play in the NBA, Mr. Clifton-we didn’t dare refer to him as “Sweet Water”- was our hero. We were young basketball players at a time when few black players had the opportunity to play college basketball; and no black players, regardless of their ability, had until Sweet Water Clifton and Chuck Cooper- who was signed by the Boston Cletics- entered the NBA in 1957. And when we saw Sweet Water Clifton playing professional basketball along side his white team mates, we began to believe that we too had a future in basketball beyond college, if we were good enough. I never met Mr; Clifton in person, but he was as inspiration to me, a person after whom I tried to model my play on the basketball court after him...All young people need heroes, and Sweet Water Clifton was one for my generation, and perhaps one for future generations, too.
Dr Leroy Johnson
Nate Clifton as a big New York Knicks