The great player in the world of basketball Fred Neal otherwise called “Curly” whose gaming skills were widely appreciated in Harlem Globetrotters passed away due to an unknown cause and he was 77.
Globetrotters General Manager Jeff Munn stated that: “We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known.” “Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide.”
RIP to Harlem Globetrotter icon, Fred ‘Curly’ Neal!🖤 pic.twitter.com/IYKdzWCpCW
— Hoops Department (@hoopsdepartment) March 26, 2020
You may be high
You may be low
You may be rich, child
You may be poor
But when the Lord get ready
You gotta move
Mississippi Fred McDowell
Miss you Dad.
— Dave W (@dcwjr78) March 28, 2020
RIP Fred "Curly" Neal, 2020. Great athlete and performer. pic.twitter.com/hg8zMh20zi
— Randall Stephens (@Randall_Stps) March 27, 2020
Neal was originally from Greensboro, North Carolina and was born in 1942 and started playing basketball for C. Smith University in Charlotte and later was hired by Globetrotters.
In his initial stages, he represented the blacks when it was the NBA had separated them, but he was a bridge to those players who are now some of the greatest icons in the NBA world. Further, Globetrotters were one of the prominent teams back in the ’60s and Fred was a major part in making the team popular amidst NBA fans.
In the year 1970 Neal was one of the renowned players of the team and was on the cover of the team’s advertisements in the period.
The Globetrotters animated cartoon aired on Saturday (1970-72) and it also had three appearances in “The New Scooby-Doo Movies,” and in live Saturday morning show ““The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.”
In honor of his achievements, the team had retired his jersey number 22 in 2008 and he was also given the honor of being in the sports Hall of Fame in North Carolina.
Neal is survived by 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren and was residing with his partner in Houston before he died.