Welcome to the Chuck Cooper Foundation
A non-profit dedicated to honoring the legacy of Chuck Cooper
by helping further the education of our young people.
The Chuck Cooper and Josh Gibson Center for Equity and Education at Point Park University seeks to create equity and opportunities in education and employment for youth and families from communities of color. Focusing on skills necessary for college and career readiness, the center will serve as a convener of resources, providing workshops, college mentors and opportunities to meet with community and business leaders, as well as college faculty. Read more
“Chuck Cooper: Hall of Famer and Barrier Breaker” debuted on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — January 18, 2021 — and aired multiple times the rest of the month and throughout February and March. The 60-minute program celebrates the life and Hall of Fame career of basketball pioneer Chuck Cooper, the first African American ever drafted by an NBA team, and the 10th anniversary of the Chuck Cooper Foundation. The show, which was presented by UPMC and hosted by Rob King, was produced by the Chuck Cooper Foundation and Baker Public Relations in cooperation with AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.
“This program is a great avenue for sharing the incredible story of Chuck Cooper,” said Chuck Cooper III, President & CEO of the Chuck Cooper Foundation. “It was an honor to have the show debut on Martin Luther King Jr. Day since my father was a barrier breaker and trailblazer on and off the court. I’m grateful to UPMC and AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh for their roles in helping to bring the show to sports fans of the region.”
“Chuck Cooper: Hall of Famer and Barrier Breaker” features rare video and photographs, and tributes from Boston Celtics legends Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, Duquesne basketball coach Keith Dambrot, Pitt basketball coach Jeff Capel, and others. It also includes presentation of the Chuck Cooper Foundation Leadership Award to Koppers President & CEO Leroy Ball, Eckert Seamans CEO Tim Hudak accepting the Chuck Cooper Foundation Trailblazer Award on behalf of the firm, and scholarships being awarded to four graduate-level students from local colleges. In addition, PNC is recognized as the presenter of the Chuck Cooper Foundation Leadership Program.
Chuck Cooper was the Duquesne University All-American who was the first African American ever drafted by an NBA team when he was selected 13th overall by the Boston Celtics in 1950. As a pioneer in his sport, the Pittsburgh native and Westinghouse High School product was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2019. Duquesne’s basketball facility, the former A.J. Palumbo Center, underwent a $45 million renovation and reopened as the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse last year in honor of Chuck’s trailblazing life and career.