NFL's first black quarterback honored by high school

9/29/2006 - NFL Chicago Bears
Willie Thrower, seen here in this file photo, was the first black quarterback to play in the NFL. AP Photo

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. -- The National Football League's first
black quarterback has been honored with a statue at the football field
where his high school alma mater used to play.

Willie Thrower, who died in 2002, became the first black
quarterback when he played in one game for the Chicago Bears in
1953, after a stellar career at Michigan State and, before that, at
New Kensington High School, about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

On Thursday night, a sculpture of Thrower was dedicated at New
Kensington's Valley Memorial field before a game between Valley
High School and Shady Side Academy. Valley was a school created in
1967 when New Kensington High School merged with neighboring Arnold
High School.

Pittsburgh Steelers owners Dan and Art Rooney were at the game,
among other dignitaries.