Pioneer Don Barksdale To Be Enshrined At Basketball Hall Of Fame

Former Boston Celtics forward and African-American basketball pioneer Don Barksdale will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a part of the 2012 class on Friday night. Barksdale accomplished many firsts during his career. He became the first African-American to be named an NCAA All-American in 1947 as a member of the UCLA Bruins, the first to play on a United States men's Olympic basketball team -- the gold medal team from 1948 -- and the first to play in an NBA All-Star Game in 1953 as a member of the Baltimore Bullets.

Barksdale averaged 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over his four-year NBA career that was cut short due to ankle injuries, but his biggest achievement is that fact that he blazed the way for African-Americans in the NBA. He passed away at the age of 69 on March 8, 1993 after a battle with throat cancer.

For a schedule of the ceremony and information on the other 11 inductees for 2012, be sure to stop by SB Nation NBA's Hall of Fame storystream.

Read more about the NBA at the SB Nation NBA hub page.

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