'Sweetwater': New film shares story of basketball icon raised in Chicago

A new film shares the story of the first African American basketball player to receive an NBA contract.  

A basketball icon, raised in Chicago. 

In 1942, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton graduated from Chicago’s DuSable High School.  He went to college in Louisiana and then enlisted in the United States Army.  

In 1950, after playing with the Harlem Globetrotters, at the age of twenty-seven, he became the first African American player to sign an NBA contract.  

He played for the New York Nicks, leading them to their first appearance in the NBA finals.  


Everett Osborne portrays "Sweetwater" in the new film by the same name.  

"Not only did he cross the color barrier but what's so beautiful is he was so innovative.  He changed the way the game was played.  The NBA was so restrictive but he brought the creative flair we've never seen before.  I mean even Michael Jordan said ‘There's no Michael Jordan without Sweetwater’," said Osborne.  

"Sweetwater" is now in theaters across Chicagoland.