Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77

Paola Ditto
Marzo 27, 2020

Curly Neal, the Harlem Globetrotters star known for his basketball-spinning and dribbling skills-as well as his ever-present smile-died Thursday at his home near Houston at 77. The exhibition team introduced the sport of basketball to millions of people around the world for the first time. Neal was the team's slick ballhandler, playing more than 6,000 games for the Globetrotters, TMZ reports. He was a key player during the Globetrotters" most popular era in the "70s and "80s, appearing on TV shows and specials like 'The Ed Sullivan Show, ' 'Love Boat" and 'Gilligan's Island'.

"The Harlem Globetrotters have been -- and will continue to be - at the forefront of breaking down racial barriers in this country", he said.

Neal said that particularly in its early days, being a part of the team "was as much a responsibility as it was a job".

The Globetrotters retired Neal's #22 jersey at a February 2008 ceremony at New York's Madison Square Garden, becoming just the fifth Globetrotter to have their numbers retired.

The Greensboro, N.C., native starred at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte before joining the barnstorming entertainers. Neal was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

While the news is still fresh for many, basketball fans on Twitter are sharing their condolences and we join them in wishing a restful and powerful peace for the great Curly Neal and we also extend warm. thoughts to his family, friends, and fans worldwide.

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