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The First Black USA Olympic Basketball Player, Don Barksdale, Was An Alpha

Did you know that African American basketball icon Don Barksdale was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha? Barksdale pledged the Gamma Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at UCLA.

Donald Argee Barksdale was born in Oakland, California where he played basketball at Berkeley High School. His high school coach cut him from the team three years in a row because he only wanted one Black player. Barksdale was a basketball pioneer who was the first Black player to be named NCAA All-American, the first to play on an Olympic team, and the first to play in an NBA All-Star game.

Berkeley became the first African-American in the U.S. to join an Olympic basketball team in 1948. Barksdale averaged 11 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game throughout his career.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Don Barksdale Career Highlights

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