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Nat Holman
Birth: Oct. 19, 1896
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 12, 1995
Bronx County
New York, USA

Hall of Fame basketball player and coach. Nat Holman was born in 1896, five years after Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball at a YMCA gymnasium in Springfield, Massachusetts. Nat was often referred to as “Mr. Basketball,” because he was one of the greatest players, coaches, and innovators in the history of the sport. He played for Commerce High School (1912-1916) and then The Savage School for Physical Education (1916-1918) before joining the Original barnstorming Celtics (no relation to the Boston Celtics) in 1920 and was regarded as the finest ball handler, playmaker, and set-shot artist of his day—a player with instinctive court savvy that helped lead the Celtics to an incredible 531-28 won-loss record. With his dazzling passing ability, extraordinary dribbling skills and leadership qualities, Holman and the Celtics won the national title in 1921. It was with the Celtics that Holman devised the "center pivot" play, an offensive concept that revolutionized basketball. Every Celtic game was a virtual basketball clinic, as college coaches flocked to watch Holman demonstrate his "cutting off the pivot" and execute the "give-and-go." At age 23 in 1919, Nat Holman became the youngest mentor in the country when he took over the head coaching duties at The City College of New York (CCNY). He coached the team for thirty-seven seasons until 1960. At CCNY, Holman compiled a commendable 421-190 won-lost record. Nat Holman’s greatest accomplishment at CCNY was his 1949-1950 squad, which was assembled from the sidewalks of New York City and won both the NCAA and NIT tournaments in the same year. This was the “grand slam” of college basketball. The 1950 City team was the first NCAA champion to have black players in its starting line-up. The starting-five of the mostly sophomore "Cinderella Team" was Ed Warner, Irwin Dambrot, Ed Roman, Floyd Lane, and Norm Mager. This unheralded team upended the top-ranked teams in the country during its sweep of both tournaments. All the games were played in the friendly confines of the old Madison Square Garden in New York City. The team captured the heart of the CCNY faithful, who supported their Beavers by chanting “allagaroo-garoo-garah, allagaroo-garoo-garah, ee-yah, ee-yah, sis-boom-bah." The double championship was an unprecedented feat that will never be duplicated. During its 1950 tourney run, the CCNY Beavers trounced Kentucky and their 7-foot center, Billy Spivey, 89-50 in the NIT. This was the worst defeat ever for an Adolph Rupp coached team. CCNY also defeated top-ranked Bradley, who had Paul Unruh (an All-America) and 5-foot 8 speedster Gene "Squeaky" Melchiorre, in the title game of each tournament. Also in 1950, the Associated Press named Nat Holman to the First Team of the Half-Century (1900-1950) and the third greatest player of that era (behind George Mikan and Hank Luisetti). It is interesting to note that Nat Holman played professionally with the Original Celtics and coached CCNY at the same time. This was a remarkable achievement in itself. He is also enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Nat Holman was one of the greatest Jewish athletes and personalities of the twentieth century. He lived a very long and a very productive life. He died at age 98 at The Hebrew Home For The Aged At Riverdale in Bronx County, New York. (bio by: Anthony B) 
Family links: 
  Louis Holman (1860 - 1936)
  Mary Holman (1872 - 1947)
  Nat Holman (1896 - 1995)
  Morris Holman (1898 - 1969)*
  Aaron Holman (1901 - 1963)*
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Anthony B
Record added: Feb 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13237953
Nat Holman
Added by: Anthony B
Nat Holman
Added by: Anthony B
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- Republican
 Added: Feb. 12, 2016

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Feb. 12, 2014
- Joyce Waters
 Added: Oct. 19, 2012
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