Nathaniel Thomas Huffman (April 2, 1975 – October 15, 2015) was an American professional basketball player, who played most of his career with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He was the 2001 Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP.
|Born||April 2, 1975|
Battle Creek, Michigan
|Died||October 15, 2015 (aged 40)|
Battle Creek, Michigan
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||Lakeview (Battle Creek, Michigan)|
|NBA draft||1997 / Undrafted|
|1999–2002||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school and college careerEdit
Huffman played for Lakeview High School and then for Lansing Community College (where in '94–'95 he averaged 29.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 6 blocks per game while shooting 66.8% from the field, and was named to the JUCO All America team). He then played for Central Michigan University from 1995 until 1997 (where in '96–'97 he averaged 17.2 points, 11 rebounds (leading the Mid-America Conference in rebounding), and 1.8 blocks per game, and was named to the MAC Conference 1st team).
After college, Huffman signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers, but did not make the team. In the 1997–98 season, he played for the Idaho Stampede of the CBA. He was second in the league in blocked shots per game (1.8), 6th in field goal percentage (.553), 8th in rebounds per game (7.6), and 10th in free throw percentage (.801).
In the 1999–00 season, he was signed by Maccabi Tel Aviv. During his time in Israel, he won three Israeli Premier League championships and Israeli State Cups, and one European FIBA SuproLeague title (2001; when he averaged 17.5 points and 9 rebounds, while playing 30 minutes per game, as the team was 21–3). He was named the FIBA SuproLeague Player of the Year, as well as the "Best American Player in Europe", by Basket News, in 2001.
After his successes in Israel, he was signed in July 2002, by the Toronto Raptors of the NBA to a 3-year, $5.2 million contract (the third year being a team option), and appeared in 7 games, averaging 3.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 10.9 minutes. Shortly after, Huffman was released by Toronto which terminated his contract in January 2003, because team management charged that he hid a knee injury from them when he signed the contract. Huffman responded by suing them in 2003. In February 2004 an arbitrator ruled that the Raptors were responsible for Huffman's contract.
Later life and deathEdit
After his basketball career, he decided to fund a basketball camp for children in 2005, with retired Romanian-Israeli basketball player Constantin Popa. Huffman was awarded in 2010, by the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation, with the Book of Life Award.
- "Huffman signs with Raptors". Central Michigan Life. July 31, 2002. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- NBA.com Career Highlights.
- ESPN.com Raptors must pay Huffman remainder of contract.
- Realgm.com 02/09: Arbitrator: Raptors owe Huffman $2.5 million. Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
- "Nate Huffman has terminal cancer". Eurohoops. 29 September 2015.
- De Lucas, Chema (15 October 2015). "Adiós al histórico ex Maccabi y Fuenla Nate Huffman. Fallece a los 40 años víctima de un cáncer". gigantes.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 October 2015.