Globetrotters legend Fred ‘Curly’ Neal dies at 77
Fred “Curly” Neal, the face of the Harlem Globetrotters for 22 years, died Thursday morning in Houston at the age of 77, the team announced on Twitter.
Neal, with his slick ballhandling skills, recognizable shaved head and playful banter, in 2008 became just the fifth Globetrotters player to have his jersey retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Marques Haynes, Meadowlark Lemon and Goose Tatum. His jersey was raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden during a special ceremony.
He also was presented with the Globetrotters’ prestigious “Legends” ring in 1993 for making “a major contribution to the success and the development of the Globetrotters organization.” He had continued to make appearances for the team as an “Ambassador of Goodwill.”