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Fred ‘Curly’ Neal, an iconic member of the Harlem Globetrotters from 1963-85, died Thursday at age 77.
Harlem Globetrotters’ Fred “Curly” Neal, shown on Jan. nine, 2008, performs throughout a timeout in the 2nd quarter in an NBA game involving the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns. Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained hundreds of thousands with the Harlem Globetrotters for pieces of a few a long time, has died at age 77. Ross D. Franklin/Related Push
Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for pieces of a few many years, has died. He was 77.
The Globetrotters said Neal died in his household outside the house of Houston on Thursday early morning.
“We have missing a single of the most legitimate human beings the earth has ever identified,” Globetrotters basic supervisor Jeff Munn stated in a statement on Twitter. “Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his heat coronary heart and enormous smile introduced joy to households globally.”
Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, showing in extra than 6,000 game titles in 97 nations around the world for the exhibition team acknowledged for its mix of comedy and athleticism. He became a single of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a particular ceremony at Madison Square Yard in 2008.
Neal was a crowd most loved with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and capability to dribble circles around would-be defenders. He was a key player all through the Globetrotters’ most well-liked period in the ‘70s and ’80s, appearing on Tv set shows and specials like “The Ed Sullivan Present,” “Love Boat” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
Neal and the Globetrotters also appeared in numerous Tv commercials, episodes of “Scooby-Doo” and had their individual cartoon sequence.
Neal was a star substantial school player in Greensboro, North Carolina, and led Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title soon after averaging 23 points for every recreation as a senior. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports activities Corridor of Fame in a 2008 course that involved North Carolina mentor Roy Williams.
Neal also was inducted into the Globetrotters’ Legends ring in 1993 and ongoing to make appearances for them as an “Ambassador of Goodwill.”