Basketball is not just a young man's game. The 2018 NBA season is underway and Vince Carter is returning for his 21st season on the court. He is the oldest active player in the league. But at 41 years old, even he is not the oldest NBA player ever to make a game appearance.
That title belongs to Nat Hickey, who stepped onto the court at 45 years and 363 days old.
Hickey, who was also a head coach at the time, activated himself as a player during the Providence Streamrollers' 1947-1948 season. He appeared in two games and was just two days away from his 46th birthday. Hickey also had a .306 career batting average in 15 minor league baseball seasons.
Kevin Willis is the second-oldest player to ever appear in an NBA game. Willis played 20 seasons in the league before appearing in five games with the Dallas Mavericks at the age of 44.
Robert Parish (43 years, 254 days), Dikembe Mutombo (42 years, 300 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (42 years, 6 days) also all rank ahead of Vince Carter on that list.
Dirk Nowitzki (40) is only second to Carter as the one of the oldest active NBA players.