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.
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