|Born||January 30, 1902|
|Died||September 16, 1979(aged 77)|
|Listed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|Position||Guard / Forward|
|1921–1922||Hoboken St. Joseph's|
|1922–1923||Eddie Holly's Majors|
|1922–1923||New York Crescents|
|1923–1925||Eddie Holly's Majors|
|1946–1948||Buffalo Braves / Tri-Cities Blackhawks|
|1948||Providence Steamrollers (interim HC)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Matthew J. "Nat" Hickey (January 30, 1902 – September 16, 1979) was an American professional basketball coach/player and baseball player. He turned to coaching basketball after his retirement from playing in 1942, but returned to play two games with the Providence Steamrollers of the Basketball Association of America while serving as the team's coach in 1948. Aged 45 years old at the time of his two appearances, Hickey holds the record for the oldest player in NBA history.
As a 5'11" guard/forward, Hickey played from the 1920s through 1940s with multiple early professional teams, including the Hoboken St. Joseph's, Eddie Holly's Majors, New York Crescents, Eddie Holly's Majors, Cleveland Rosenblums, the Chicago Bruins, Boston Trojans, Original Celtics of the American Basketball League and the Pittsburgh Raiders, Indianapolis Kautskys, and Tri-Cities Blackhawks of the National Basketball League.
In the second year after the formation of the Basketball Association of America (the forerunner to the NBA), Hickey served 29 games as head coach of the Providence Steamrollers during the 1947–48 season. Hickey's team posted a 4–25 record during his tenure. He activated himself as a player on January 27, 1948, three days before his 46th birthday, and appeared in two games. He attempted six field goals – making none – and committed five personal fouls. He scored two points off of foul shots. All of the shots occurred in his debut game as a player against the St. Louis Bombers. While he also played a day later against the New York Knickerbockers, he didn't record anything in that game. As a result of these games, Hickey still holds the record for the oldest player in NBA history at 45 years and 363 days.
Aside from basketball, Hickey enjoyed a lengthy career in baseball, playing 15 minor league seasons and managing two. Hickey managed and played several seasons of minor league baseball as an outfielder. Notably, he was baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial's first minor league manager with the Williamson Colts in 1938.
Nat Hickey died on September 16, 1979 and the date of death appeared in the Johnstown Tribune Obituary Index.
BAA career statistics
|APG||Assists per game|
|PPG||Points per game|
- List of oldest and youngest National Basketball Association players
- List of National Basketball Association player-coaches
- "Obituary Index" (PDF). Johnstown Tribune-Democrat.
- Sachare, Alex (1994). The Official NBA basketball encyclopedia (1994 ed.). Villard Books. p. 577.
- Boeck, Greg (April 2, 2007). "Mavericks make motivated Willis, 44, NBA's oldest player". USA Today. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- Akin, William E. (2006). West Virginia Baseball: A History, 1865-2000. McFarland. p. 147. ISBN 9780786425709.
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