Holman, coach for 37 years at CCNY, dead at 98


NEW YORK -- Nat Holman, one of the greatest basketball players of the 1920s and a coach for 37 years at City College of New York, died yesterday of natural causes at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale. He was 98.

Holman, whose teams were well-drilled and fundamentally sound, retired in 1960 with a 421-190 record.

In 1950, his CCNY team won both the NCAA and the National Invitation Tournament, but his coaching career was not without pain.

In 1951, several of his players were arrested for point-shaving in the biggest scandal in college basketball history.

Holman was suspended by the New York City Board of Higher Education in 1951 for "conduct unbecoming to a teacher."

Contending that he had known nothing of his players' deceit, he rejected the option of an early pension. He was reinstated at CCNY two years later, but the school never returned to Division I status.

Holman played for the pre-NBA Celtics, a barnstorming team, from 1921 to 1927. The Celtics, who played more than 100 games a year and rarely lost, billed Holman as "the world's greatest basketball player."

Holman was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad