Harlem Globetrotters Legend Curly Neal Dead At 77

Written by on March 26, 2020

Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained hundreds of thousands with the Harlem Globetrotters for elements of three many years, has died. He was 77.

The Globetrotters mentioned Neal died in his dwelling outdoors of Houston on Thursday morning.

“We’ve misplaced some of the real human beings the world has ever identified,” Globetrotters normal supervisor Jeff Munn mentioned in an announcement on Twitter. “Curly’s basketball talent was unmatched by most, and his heat coronary heart and big smile introduced pleasure to households worldwide.”

Neal performed for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, showing in additional than 6,000 video games in 97 nations for the exhibition workforce identified for its mixture of comedy and athleticism. He turned certainly one of 5 Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters throughout a particular ceremony at Madison Sq. Backyard in 2008.

Neal was a crowd favourite along with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and skill to dribble circles round would-be defenders. He was a key participant through the Globetrotters’ hottest period within the ’70s and ’80s, showing on TV reveals and specials like “The Ed Sullivan Present,” “Love Boat” and “Gilligan’s Island.”

Neal and the Globetrotters additionally appeared in quite a few TV commercials, episodes of “Scooby-Doo” and had their very own cartoon collection.

Neal was a star highschool participant in Greensboro, North Carolina, and led Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Affiliation title after averaging 23 factors per sport as a senior. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports activities Corridor of Fame in a 2008 class that included North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

Neal additionally was inducted into the Globetrotters’ Legends ring in 1993 and continued to make appearances for them as an “Ambassador of Goodwill.”

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