Former Harlem Globetrotter Fred “Curly” Neal died at age 77 at his house in Houston, Texas, the exhibition basketball crew introduced Thursday.
Neal’s awe-inspiring ball dealing with and mythical capturing talents saved him as some of the Globetrotters’ featured gamers for 22 seasons, sooner than he left the crew in 1985. His bald head earned him the nickname “Curly,” a connection with hairless 3 Stooges member Curly Howard.
Globetrotters Basic Supervisor Jeff Munn stated in a remark Thursday that the group has misplaced “one of the vital authentic human beings the sector has ever recognized.”
“His basketball talent was once unmatched via maximum, and his heat middle and large smile introduced pleasure to households international,” Munn stated. “He at all times made time for his many lovers and impressed thousands and thousands.”
Neal’s quantity, 22, was once retired in 2008 and his jersey was once lifted into the rafters at Madison Sq. Lawn in New York Town. He was once venerated with a “Legends” ring, given to those that have made a significant contribution to the advance of the Globetrotters group.
A local of Greensboro, North Carolina, Neal performed school ball at Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte and was once sooner or later inducted into the North Carolina’s Sports activities Corridor of Popularity.
Neal additionally loved a tv occupation, enjoying himself in quite a lot of techniques and specials. Neal made appearances on “The Love Boat,” “The White Shadow” and “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan‘s Island” tv film.
He additionally did voice paintings in episodes of Hanna Barbera’s “Scooby-Doo” cool animated film, helping the crowd in fixing mysteries, and within the Globetrotters’ personal animated sequence.
Former Globetrotter Curley “Boo” Johnson, who joined the crew after Neal’s departure, mourned the legend’s loss in a statement Thursday on Twitter.
“Final evening the Global misplaced a real ambassador of the sport of basketball and outdoor of Muhammad Ali one of the vital recognizable faces at the Planet!” Johnson wrote.
CORRECTION (March 26, 2020, 6:45 p.m. ET): An previous model of this newsletter misstated the place Fred “Curly” Neal attended school. He went to Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte, North Carolina, no longer the College of Charlotte.