On this day in Boston Celtics history, the team sold the rights to young striker Chuck Cooper to the Milwaukee (now, Atlanta) Hawks in 1953. Cooper, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was drafted by the Celtics out of Duquesne in the 1950 NBA Draft by choice overall 14 times.
With that selection, the future Hall of Fame wing became the first African-American to be drafted into the league, and one of the first to play in the NBA. Legendary Head Coach and General Manager Red Auerbach is famous for that choice, “I don’t care if it’s striped, square or polkadot. Boston took Charles Cooper from Duquesne.
He will play four seasons with Boston under team president and coach Red Auerbach, averaging 6.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game in his time with the franchise.
It also dates to the 1974 NBA draft, in which the Celtics made four record players.
The first was Al Skinner, a shooter from UMass, taken with the 160th pick (there were many rounds in that era).
Skinner would never play in the NBA, but chose to join the New York (now, Brooklyn) Nets in the American Basketball Association.
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Boston also drafted small forward Ben Clyde of Florida State with the 89th pick of the draft.
Clyde would play 25 games for Boston next season, averaging 2.8 points, 1.6 boards, and 0.2 assists per game before being released in 1975.
The 76ers’ guard Fred Boyd (11) was stopped by Kevin Stacom (27) of the Boston Celtics while trying to drive into basketball in the first quarter of an NBA game on the night of Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1974 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
The Celtics also took shooting guard Kevin Stacom of Providence with a 35th overall pick.
Stacom will stay five seasons with the Celtics, with him winning the ring in 1976, averaging 5.3 points, 1.5 boards, and 1.5 assists per game.
Glenn McDonald (30), a rarely used Celtic, put up two free throws to give him six points in third overtime and put Boston at a winning advantage over Phoenix at Boston Garden, on Saturday, June 5, 1976, Boston, Mass. The 128-126 result gave Boston a 3-2 win in the NBA Championship. (AP/CR photo)
With the 17th pick, Boston took small forward Glenn McDonald out of Cal State Long Beach.
McDonald would also win the ring with Boston in 1976, which would play two seasons, logging 4.3 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.
New York Knicks Earl Monroe drives against Boston Celtics Jeff Judkins in Boston on Feb. 11, 1979 photo. (AP Photo/File)
This was the anniversary of the 1980 Expansion draft where players were selected from unprotected prospects in Boston and other established NBA teams to fill the newly formed Dallas Mavericks roster.
The Celtics saw shooting guard Jeff Judkins take over from them after two seasons with the team scoring 7.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per contest.
On May 29, 1986, a file photo, Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics, left, holding the Maurice Podoloff Cup after being named the Most Valuable Player in the NBA for three consecutive years, in Boston, when Celtics President Red Auerbach appeared on. The Hall-of-Famer is the only person in league history to collect league MVP, coach of the year and executive award of the year. (AP Photo/Elise F. Amendola, File)
Finally, in 1986, Celtics legend Larry Bird won the Most Valuable Player award for the third time in a row.
The Indiana native joined Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the only player to win the MVP award three seasons in a row.
This post first appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!