Former Bossier High and All-SEC LSU basketball star Georgie Nattin, Jr., a member of the first Tiger team to defeat the University of Kentucky in hoops, passed away on Monday in Benton at the age of 74.
Nattin played for the Tigers from 1959-62, earning First-Team All-SEC honors in 1961 and third-team honors in 1962 as chosen by the Associated Press. He was also named Academic All-SEC in 1962.
LSU had lost to Kentucky and legendary Coach Adolph Rupp in every meeting since 1933, including a Southeastern Conference championship playoff game in 1954. The streak had reached 19 games when the Tigers under Coach Jay McCreary met on Jan. 13, 1961 at the “Cow Palace” in Baton Rouge. That night, LSU was at its best and Nattin helped the Tigers to a 73-59 decision over the Wildcats.
Nattin would score 12 points in the win, hitting three field goals and all six of his free throw attempts.
It would be 11 more years before LSU would win again against Kentucky, two seasons after Pete Maravich had moved to the NBA, in 1972.
Nattin was born in Houston, Texas in 1940 but grew up in Bossier City. At Bossier High (where he was inducted into the school Alumni Association’s Sports and Spirit Hall of Fame) he excelled in basketball and was named All-City, All-District and All-State. He was President of the sophomore and junior class and the Student Council, earning Valedictorian honors.
At LSU, Nattin led the team all three years in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game in 1960, 16.5 in 1961 and 12.8 in 1962. He also led the team in field goals made twice (165 in 1961 and 122 in 1962), free throws made in 1962 (62), field goal percentage in 1961 (41.8%) and he led the team in free throw percentage in both 1961 and 1962 with percentages of 79.5 in 1961 and 78.4 in 1962.
Nattin would be in double figures all three of his years at LSU, averaging 13.5 points in 1960. He fell just short of the 1,000-point club with 937 career points. His career free throw percentage of 79.2 ranks eighth still on LSU’s All-Time List.
Nattin was an easy choice for the 1960s All-Decade Team that was chosen in 2008-09 as part of the 100 years celebration of LSU basketball and was on the final ballot for the All-Century team that was selected.
After college, he worked his way through the ranks into executive status at several casino properties in Las Vegas. He was the first President of the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City.
He was preceded in death by his parents George Nattin Sr, Ava Nattin, daughter Melinda Nattin and granddaughter Stephanie Brascia. He is survived by his daughters Melanie Nattin Horner and husband Scott of Las Vegas, Nevada; Meschell Nattin Brascia and husband Peter of Washington, D.C.; Monique Rowell and husband Chris of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Honorary brother Rodney Nattin, Grandchildren Natalie Keffer and husband Brett, Richie Griffin and wife Jessie, Niki Anderson and husband Dave; Kaylie, Lillian and Paul Rowell; Allie Anna and Sam Brascia; Great grandchildren Sean, Jack and Preston Griffin; Ave Keffer.
Visitation will be at Hill Crest Funeral Home in Haughton on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. with the celebration of his life to be held at Hill Crest Chapel on Thursday at 11 a.m.
— LSU Sports Information