In an interview with ZagsBlog, Kevin Mackey, the former Cleveland State coach who brought 7-foot-7 Manute Bolto the United States from Sudan, suggested the former NBA center was in his late forties or even early fifties during his playing career.
Mackey said he “gave” Bol a birthday of Oct. 16, 1992 because no one knew the actual date of birth.
“Every athletic door is open at 19, every athletic door is closed when you’re 35,” said Mackey, 71. “He was probably 40, 50 years old when he was playing in the NBA.”
This is an amazing revelation. Bol was already such a captivating figure for a certain generation of basketball fans. That he could have been pushing the half-century mark and still lacing them up only adds to the legend.
During his rookie year of 1985-86, Bol led the NBA in blocks (5.0/game) despite only playing 26.1 minutes/game. He did the same in 1988-89 while averaging 22.1 minutes/game. The age element makes his accomplishment of playing in all 82 games twice even more impressive.