Fred “Curly” Neal has handed away. The beloved Harlem Globetrotter legend was 77-years previous. Globetrotters GM Jeff Munn confirmed the information. A explanation for loss of life has not been revealed. Curly is arguably essentially the most well-known of the Globetrotters after enjoying in over 6,000 video games all through his time with the basketball staff. He began in 1963 and ended his profession in 1985, enjoying in 97 totally different nations and spreading pleasure to the world. Along with his expertise on the court docket, Curly was additionally featured on episodes of Scooby-Doo and Gilligan’s Island, together with the varied Globetrotter exhibits.

Curley Boo Johnson was one of many first to announce Fred “Curly” Neal’s passing on social media. Johnson began with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1988, a number of years after Curly retired. He says, “Final night time the World misplaced a real ambassador of the sport of basketball and outdoors of Muhammad Ali one of the crucial recognizable faces on the Planet! Relaxation In Peace my Brother…” Globetrotters GM Jeff Munn launched an announcement, which you’ll be able to learn beneath.

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“We’ve got misplaced one of the crucial real human beings the world has ever identified. His basketball talent was unequalled by most, and his heat coronary heart and big smile introduced pleasure to households worldwide. He all the time made time for his many followers and impressed thousands and thousands.”

Fred Neal grew to become Curly when he first shaved his head. His nickname is a reference to the Three Stooges‘ Curly Howard, and it made him one of the crucial recognizable Harlem Globetrotters. He was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on Could 19th, 1942 and attended Greensboro-Dudley Excessive Faculty. After highschool, Curly attended Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte, North Carolina. He performed basketball there and averaged 23.1 factors a sport and was named All-CIAA guard.

After school, Fred “Curly” Neal began enjoying with the Harlem Globe Trotters. As for by no means enjoying within the NBA, Curly by no means actually gave it a lot thought after getting an invite to affix the Globetrotters. “I’d have made it simple (within the NBA). Being knowledgeable basketball participant, I’d have made it both approach,” he stated. “However I thank the Globetrotters, as a result of I performed for them for 22 years and I’d have by no means performed that lengthy within the NBA.” Curly all the time had a smile on his face and was making an attempt to get the world-famous basketball staff again into widespread tradition as a goodwill ambassador.

Fred “Curly” Neal’s quantity 22 was retired on February 15th, 2008 in a particular ceremony at Madison Sq. Backyard as a part of “Curly Neal Weekend.” He’s solely the fifth Globetrotter to obtain such an honor. He was additionally inducted into the North Carolina Sports activities Corridor of Fame that very same 12 months. Nonetheless, even non-sports followers know Curly for serving to out the gang within the Scooby-Doo cartoons, The New Scooby-Doo Motion pictures. Hanna-Barbera even created animated cartoon Harlem Globetrotters and its spinoff, The Tremendous Globetrotters. TMZ was the primary to report the loss of life of Curly Neal.