Melvin M. "Mel" Hirsch (1921–1968[1]) was a US professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics for 13 games in the 1946-1947 season. He scored 19 points and was credited with 10 assists.

A stand-out player at Brooklyn College, after graduating in 1943 he served in the US Army Air Corps as a Navigator on C-47 aircraft in the 13th Troop Carrier Squadron, the "Thirsty 13th" in the South Pacific. He played on the squadron's officer's team, and is pictured above on April 9, 1945, in the 403rd Group Championship against the squadron's enlisted men (with shirts) on Biak Island.[2]

At 5 feet 6 inches tall, he was the shortest player in NBA history until Muggsy Bogues arrived in the league more than 40 years later. He would become the third shortest player in the NBA. but not much is known about him.

Hirsch died at 47 years old from leukemia.


  1. ^ Grasso, John; Bradley, Robert; Hoover, Bill; Bender, David; Lawler, Frank (June 27, 2012). "Known deceased basketball individuals". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Thirsty 13th," by Seth Washburne, published 2011.

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