His Birthday Was Made Up; Manute Bol Played In The NBA At Age 50

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His Birthday Was Made Up; Manute Bol Played In The NBA At Age 50


Manute Bol, was listed at 7 ft 7, making him the tallest player in NBA history.

Sadly, Bol passed away in 2010, but recently his stories are coming back alive, due to his son, Bol Bol, commiting to play basketball at the University of Oregon.

One story, that has been rumored for a long time was brought back, as well. The story of Bol’s actual age during his active playing career. Apparently, former Cleveland State coach Kevin Mackey was the one who decided Bol’s birthday was October 16, 1962, because it wasn’t clear just how old Bol was at the time.

Via Zagsblog:

“I gave him his birthday because they didn’t know how old he was,” Mackey, now a scout with the Indiana Pacers, told ZAGSBLOG.

But Mackey says Bol was probably much older and could have been in his 40s or even 50s when he played in the NBA. According to Wikipedia, Manute played in the NBA from his early 20s until his early 30s for various teams, including the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers.

“The immigration people were in the office [at Cleveland State] and they thought it was great. They loved it. And they were big fans of Cleveland State, they used to come to all our games. They wanted to cover themselves because Manute was starting to get so much publicity. His picture was in the paper. He was on the 6 o’clock news because he was a such a different looking guy than everyone else. At that time, no one had ever seen anything like it.”
So at that point, Mackey worked with the local immigration office to come up with a birthday for Bol, Oct. 16, 1962
“It was in October, I wanted to make it after Sept. 1,” Mackey said. “I wanted to make sure he was young enough because he didn’t have an age. I think he was [in his 40s], I really do. But there’s no way of ever really knowing.”


That confirms a story former NBA player Jayson Williams was telling VICE Sports in a podcast last year. Williams claimed that Bol was 55 years old when playing for the Sixers. Williams and Bol were teammates when Williams first came into the league in the early 90’s. He also told the story how Bol never played sober, because he was drinking Heinekens all the time.

“They used to let Manute Bol drink the whole time, so he would drink Heinekens all day long to help put on weight, so Manute Bol never played sober in one basketball game. He used to put on all his clothes last, so what he would do, after he got out the shower, he would put on his socks and then that was it. And he would just walk around the locker room naked drinking Heinekens.”

“He used to say that he was 35 years old, but I used to be on the bench looking at all the circles and scars around his head, and I asked him one day, ‘Manute, what are those scars on your head?’ And he says, ‘Well, the white man lost my birth certificate in the jungle, so every five years I take a rock and I slice one across my head.’ I was like, ‘All right,’ and then I started looking at it the next game and I said, ‘Holy s—, Manute Bol is 55 years old.’”

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