Between 1963 and 1985, the bald-headed Fred Neal was known for his flashy ball-handling and nimble dribbling skills.
What We Know:
- Neal played in more than 6,000 games over 22 years for the Globetrotters while making numerous television appearances, ranging from the Ed Sullivan Show to Scooby-Doo.
- His number 22 was retired by the team in 2008 as he became the fifth player to receive this honor, along with Wilt Chamberlain, Marques Haynes, Meadowlark Lemon, and Goose Tatum.
- NBA legend Isiah Thomas reacted to the news by saying “For those who say the game has evolved? I say what’s old is new again! Distance Shot making and dribbling is back!! #CurlyNeal and #MarcusHaynes taught me how to dribble #Globetrotters”.
- Other notables chimed in like sports commentator Mike Greenberg who said Neal made many people happy. “When I was a kid, there was nothing more fun than going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. And this man was the reason,” he tweeted. “He made as many people smile as any athlete that ever lived. About as good an epitaph as you could ever have. Rest In Peace, Curly Neal. Thanks for all the fun.”
Neal will be remembered for thoroughly entertaining people on the court and being one of the most talented people the game has ever seen.
RIP Curly Neal!
The basketball legend played 22 seasons (over 6,000 games) with the Harlem Globetrotters! @Globies pic.twitter.com/pWVUws3Nsb
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 26, 2020