Manute Bol, who died in 2010 at 47-years-old, could be the oldest NBA player ever. The 7’7″ center from Sudan became a legend with the Washington Bullets during his 10 seasons in the league.
Manute Bol is the oldest known NBA player, but there’s no way of ever really knowing. Read more in detail here: oldest nba player ever.
In NBA circles, the late Manute Bol is somewhat of a folk hero. Yes, as a journeyman center in the NBA, he had a promising career, but it only tells half of the tale. From allegations that he coined the term “my bad” to his choice to live a middle-class lifestyle as an NBA billionaire, the 7-foot-7 Sudanese center has a long list of interesting tales and accomplishments to his credit. One of the more interesting tales, on the other hand, has less to do with basketball and more to do with his age.
Manute Bol enters the court for the first time.
Bol grew up at a time before social media, when he could have a worldwide effect on his country as a little kid in Sudan. Fortunately, according to Face 2 Face Africa, Bol grew up at the same time as Nigerian great Hakeem Olajuwon, who permanently altered the NBA-Africa connection. Even in professional basketball circles, Bol was a natural for attracting attention due to his enormous stature.
His path to the NBA, on the other hand, was not simple. Bol had the size of an NBA big man, but his sport of choice was soccer. However, in a sport that demands quickness and elegance, a huge body like his may be harmful. Basketball, on the other hand, was a different story. Basketball camps were held all over the nation for the future NBA great. There, he attracted the attention of scouts from American colleges.
When Bol moved to America, he had acute cultural shock. He didn’t speak much English, didn’t have a birth certificate, and was still new to basketball. Bol moved to the Division II University of Bridgeport after a recruiting scandal ruined his intentions to play at Cleveland State. He drew the attention of the NBA there.
The Clippers selected him before it was nullified due to a mistake that led him to declare too late. Bol chose to play semi-professional basketball in Rhode Island before declaring for the 1985 NBA Draft rather than fight it.
Bol makes his NBA debut.
Manute Bol of the Washington Bullets in an NBA game in 1986 | Damian Strohmeyer/Allsport/Getty Images
Bol was never a standout in the NBA. It was, however, a huge achievement for a kid from Sudan to even make it this far. Despite the fact that his height made ballhandling and other abilities difficult for him, Bol understood how to put his height to good use when it mattered. He wasn’t a very good shooter, but his three-point attempt was sometimes successful. Furthermore, he wasn’t a very good rebounder. However, it was on the defensive end of the field that he excelled.
Bol averaged 3.3 blocks per game against only 2.6 points per game, according to Basketball-Reference. In an offensive league like the NBA, that’s a remarkable accomplishment. Bol’s humanitarian efforts drew more attention than his basketball abilities, but he showed that he belonged. Bol died in 2010 from renal disease, but his legacy lives on via his son, Bol Bol, who also became a professional basketball player.
His career, on the other hand, continues to be a gift that keeps on giving. His NBA center’s age was revealed by his Cleveland State coach. If this is accurate, Bol was one of the NBA’s oldest players ever.
What was Manute Bol’s age?
Bol was born on October 12, 1968, according to internet sources. According to former Cleveland State coach Kevin Mackey, his birthdate was an absolute falsehood since he grew up in a place where birth certificates were scarce.
Mackey told Zags Blog, “I gave him his birthday since they didn’t know how old he was.” “It was in October,” says the narrator. After September 1st, I wanted to make it. Because he didn’t have an age, I wanted to make sure he was young enough. I really believe he was [IN HIS FORTYS]. But there’s no way of knowing for sure.”
The question has remained relevant to this day. Bol would be the oldest athlete to pull on a jersey if he was as old as his former coach believes he was, according to the New York Daily News. However, without more proof, it is still just conjecture. Bol is one of the few NBA players with as many weird, plausible tales as he has, and the age saga helps to demonstrate why. Bol, whether he was 20, 30, 40, or 50, had an effect that lasted long after his death.
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