Converse Breaking Down Barriers collection honors basketball pioneers Chuck Cooper, Earl Lloyd and Nat Clifton.

Each of the aforementioned players gets a limited edition colorway of the Chuck Taylor. The shoe is the first performance hoops shoe, and links to their respective first teams: the New York KnicksBoston Celtics and Washington Capitols. Additionally, the collection includes three Converse Pro Leathers repping the Knicks, Celtics and Pistons.

Converse Breaking Down Barriers: Charles “Chuck” Cooper

In April 1950, Charles “Chuck” Cooper became one of the first African-Americans to play in the NBA. He was selected 13 overall by the Boston Celtics during that year’s NBA draft. Cooper stayed with the team for four years before moving on to play for Fort Wayne Pistons. During this time he helped lead the team to a Western Division Championship title. Additionally, he was helping them advance to the NBA Finals.

Converse Breaking Down Barriers: Nat Clifton

Clifton, on the other hand, was the first African-American player to sign an NBA contract with the New York Knickerbockers. During his time with the Knicks he helped the team reach the NBA Finals. He was named an NBA All-Star at the age of 34. His final season was played in Detroit during 1957-58.

Converse Breaking Down Barriers: Earl Lloyd

Along with Cooper and Clifton, Lloyd became one of the first African-Americans to play in the league. Consequently, he suited up with the Washington Capitols in October 1950. Later on, he went on to play for the Syracuse National and the Detroit Pistons.

Converse Breaking Down Barriers collection is available at select House of Hoops, Foot Locker locations and Converse’s online store.

With each purchase, Converse will make donations on behalf of the estates of each player.

Chuck Cooper – The Chuck Cooper Foundation, a non-profit organization

Nat Clifton – American Heart Association

Earl Lloyd – Earl Lloyd Foundation, a non-profit organization

Rock The Bells drop one launched exclusively through rockthebells.com on January 28. And while you’re at it, check out our stuff as well.

This article is originally by HYPEBEAST.

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