A Harlem Globetrotter legend, Fred “Curly” Neal has died at the age of 77.
Neal wore #22 for the Globetrotters and played 22 seasons from 1963 to 1985, ultimately retiring his number in Madison Square Garden. The featured ball-handler of the team sported his iconic shaved-head, which earned him the nickname of “Curly” in reference to Curly Howard of The Three Stooges.
Curly was part of one of the most extraordinary eras in the team’s history, appearing on several popular television programs and specials, including “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” “CBS Sports Spectacular,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine,” “The Love Boat,” “The White Shadow” and “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan‘s Island.” He also appeared in numerous national TV commercials and was immortalized in animation on “The Harlem Globetrotters” cartoon series and on episodes of “Scooby Doo.” – HarlemGlobetrotters.com
Former Globetrotter Curley “Boo” Johnson shared the information on Twitter:
FRED “CURLY” NEAL Last night the World lost a true ambassador of the game of basketball and outside of Muhammad Ali one of the most recognizable faces on the Planet! Rest In Peace my Brother…. #harlemglobetrotters pic.twitter.com/7XsCfyDGJZ
— Dr. Curley Boo Johnson (@BooCurley) March 26, 2020