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Harlem Globetrotters legend Curly Neal passes away at 77

Vincent Frank
Wes Unseld Wizards
Dec 26, 2019; Detroit, Michigan, USA; A detail view of the basketball during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The basketball world received some sad news on Thursday with reports that Harlem Globetrotters legend Fred “Curly” Neal has passed away at the age of 77, per TMZ Sports.

Neal’s 22-year stint with the exhibition team included north of 6,000 games and some incredible moments in front of awe-inspired fans.

Neal suited up with the Globetrotters during the height of their popularity from 1963-85, playing in 97 different countries. He’s right up there with Meadowlark Lemon as one of the most popular all-time members of the Globetrotters.

He became one of just five former members of the Globetrotters to have his jersey retired back in 2008, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Meadowlark Lemon, Marques Haynes and Goose Tatum.

Neal is survived by two daughters, six grandchildren and his fiance, Linda Ware.

Our thoughts go out to the Globetrotters family and the entire basketball world during these most difficult of times.