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Manute Bol Lied About His Age, May Have Been 50 When He Played In NBA

Manute Bol retired from basketball in 1995 at the age of 32, or so we’ve been led to believe.


Throughout his career, he saw many accolades and recognitions, including being listed as having the longest arm span in NBA history – 8 feet 6 inches. The 7’7” center played for several teams, including the Miami Heat, Philedelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors.

Bol’s start in basketball came when Kevin Mackey, formerly the head coach of Cleveland State University, recruited him from his home country of Sudan. Mackey’s focus was on attaining the next rising basketball talent, and he attempted to enroll Bol at Cleveland State. This failed, and after a brief stint at the University of Bridgeport, Bol was drafted in 1985. At the time, his birthdate was listed as October 16, 1962, making him 23 years old when he entered the league, and 33 when he retired.

Now a scout for the Indiana Pacers, in recent reports, Mackey admits to have “made-up” Bol’s birth date at the time when he brought him to the United States, “[Bol] had no idea of his age and the kid who came over with him didn’t know how old he was. No one knew how old he was.” Mackey elaborated, “Every athletic door is open at 19, every athletic door is closed when you’re 35, he was probably 40, 50 years old when he was playing in the NBA.”

Bol is reported to have passed from kidney failure at the young age of 47. Mackey’s statements would indicate that Bol may have really been in his 60’s at the time of his passing in 2010.

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