Harlem Globetrotters legend Fred “Curly” Neal passed away in Houston, Texas on Wednesday. Neal was 77 years old.
One of the most recognizable players and entertainers in Globetrotters history, Neal thrilled crowds with his ballhandling and showmanship for more than two decades. He was with the team from 1963 to 1985 and later became just the fifth Globetrotter to ever have his number retired.
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Neal started at Johnson C. Smith before joining the Globetrotters. He averaged 23.1 points per game and is a member of the Johnson C. Smith Hall of Fame.
In addition to his exploits on the court, Neal made many appearances representing the Globetrotters on television and in movies over the years.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Neal’s friends and family and the Harlem Globetrotter community.
Rest in peace, Curly.