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 taking pictures talents stored him as one of the crucial 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 Normal Supervisor Jeff Munn mentioned in a commentary Thursday that the group has misplaced “probably the most authentic human beings the arena has ever recognized.”
“His basketball ability was once unmatched through maximum, and his heat center and large smile introduced pleasure to households international,” Munn mentioned. “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 commemorated with a “Legends” ring, given to those that have made a big contribution to the improvement of the Globetrotters group.
A local of Greensboro, North Carolina, Neal performed school ball at Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte and was once ultimately inducted into the North Carolina’s Sports activities Corridor of Repute.
Neal additionally loved a tv occupation, taking part in himself in a variety 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.
“Remaining night time the International misplaced a real ambassador of the sport of basketball and out of doors of Muhammad Ali probably the most recognizable faces at the Planet!” Johnson wrote.
CORRECTION (March 26, 2020, 6:45 p.m. ET): An previous model of this text 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.