Harlem Globetrotter Favorite Meadowlark Lemon Dies In Scottsdale At 83

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Monday, December 28, 2015 - 10:50am
(Photo by United States Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon in 1988.

He was known as the crown prince of basketball. Meadowlark Lemon, who successfully mixed comedy with his favorite game during 7,500 consecutive games with the Harlem Globetrotters, died Sunday in Scottsdale.

The 83-year-old Lemon, whose blend of hook shots and humor brought joy to millions around the world was skilled enough to play professionally but wanted to entertain. His dream of playing for the Globetrotters was hatched after watching a newsreel of the all-black team at a cinema house when he was 11-years-old.

He ended up as arguably the team’s most popular player, playing an average 325 games a year for 24 years. He was known for his confetti-in-the-water-bucket routine, two-handed hook shots, the rubber-band ball and behind the back passes.

Former NBA great Wilt Chamberlain, speaking shortly before his death in 1999, called Lemon the most sensational basketball player he had ever seen.

Lemon became an ordained minister in 1986, working with young people at basketball camps and youth prisons from his Scottsdale home base.

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