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Nathaniel Clifton, also known as Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, was an American professional basketball player who significantly contributed to the sport during the mid-20th century.
Clifton became one of the first African-American players to break the National Basketball Association (NBA) colour barrier.
Clifton’s basketball journey began at DuSable High School in Chicago, where he excelled as a standout player.
After graduating, he served in the United States Army during World War II.
Following his military service, Clifton honed his basketball skills in various semi-professional leagues, including the Harlem Globetrotters, before playing in the NBA.
In 1950, at 27, Clifton signed with the New York Knicks, becoming one of the first three African-American players to join the league, alongside Earl Lloyd and Chuck Cooper.
This marked a pivotal moment in NBA history, as it challenged racial barriers and paved the way for future generations of African-American players.
Standing 6 feet 7 inches tall, Clifton was known for his physicality, versatility, and strong defensive skills.
He played primarily as a power forward and centre, using his strength and athleticism to dominate the court.
Clifton’s contributions to the Knicks were instrumental in their success during the 1950s and early 1960s.
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Nathaniel Clifton Nationality
Nathaniel Clifton is an American. He was born on October 13, 1922, in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States of America.
Nathaniel Clifton Ethnicity
Nathaniel Clifton was an African-American.