Meadowlark Lemon, dubbed the “Clown Prince of Basketball” for his two decades of amazing work as part of the Harlem Globetrotters, died on Sunday. He was 83 years old.
The basketball star joined the Globetrotters after leaving his native North Carolina in 1956, and became one of the traveling team’s most memorable players during his twenty years on the roster.
Lemon, who starred through the Globetrotters’ golden era of sold out arenas and national TV exposure, was most famous for his hook shot, as well as a comedy routine that saw him cover referees in a bucket of confetti on the court.
He played more than 16,000 career games for the team, including events before presidents, members of royal families, and even the Pope, as he traveled to more than 100 countries as an entertainer and showman.
After leaving the Globetrotters in 1978, Lemon started his own basketball teams, and he played the game well into his 70s before health problems caught up to him.
In 2003, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Our thoughts are with Lemon’s friends and family during this difficult time.
[Image via Guillermo Proano/WENN.]