“Forgotten Hollywood”- End of a Basketball Era…

Posted on December 28, 2015 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Many P. here…

   Meadowlark Lemon was known as the clown prince of basketball’s barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters, whose blend of hook shots and humor brought joy to millions of fans around the world. He was one of the most popular athletes in the world during the prime of his career, thanks to a unique blend of athleticism and showmanship. He ended up becoming arguably the team’s most popular player, a showman known as much for his confetti-in-the-water-bucket routine and slapstick comedy as his half-court hook shots and no-look, behind-the-back passes.

   Though skilled enough to play professionally, Lemon instead wanted to entertain, his dream of playing for the Globetrotters hatched after watching a newsreel of the all-black team at a cinema house when he was 11. Lemon first contacted the Globetrotters before his high school graduation and joined the team in 1954. What followed was a run, by his calculations, of more than 16,000 straight games that took him to places he never could have imagined. He played during the team’s heyday from the mid-1950s to the late-1970s, delighting fans with his skills with a ball and a joke. Traveling by car, bus, train or plane nearly every night, Lemon covered nearly 4 million miles to play in over 100 countries and in front of popes and presidents, kings and queens. He was also known for his luminous smile.

MeadowlarkLemonharlemglobetrotters1   Playing against the Globetrotters’ nightly foil, the Washington Generals, Lemon left fans in awe with an array of nifty moves he put on display, while Sweet Georgia Brown played over the loudspeaker. Lemon was a sport’s icon by the 1970s, appearing in television and movies, including appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and numerous talk shows, joining the sitcom Hello Larry, co-starring in the flick, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh; even a stint in the cartoon Scooby Doo, with Scatman Crothers doing his voice.

   Wilt Chamberlain called him the most sensational player he had ever seen. Meadowlark Lemon (right) spent the last years of his life trying to spread a message of faith through basketball. He became an ordained minister in 1986, and was a motivational speaker, touring the country to meet with children at basketball camps and youth prisons with his Scottsdale-based Meadowlark Lemon Ministries. A sign of his crossover appeal, Lemon was inducted into both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the International Clown Hall of Fame.

   Meadowlark Lemon was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, December 28th, 2015 at 11:32 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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