11:53 AM PT – Globetrotters GM Jeff Munn just released a statement on Curly’s passing … saying “Lost one of the most honest people the world has ever known.”
“His basketball skills are unmatched, and his warm heart and big smile bring joy to families around the world. He always makes time for his many fans and is inspired by millions.”
What a sad day for the basketball community … beloved Harlem Globetrotters legend Fred “Curly” Neal the past. He was 77 years old.
Curly became a best-known player for the Globies during his 22-year stint with the team … playing in over 6,000 games.
Neal’s # 22 jersey was retired in 2008 … one of 5 players to receive the award.
Curly has also been featured on several Globetrotters TV specials … including “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island” and “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Special” … as well as ‘Scooby-Doo.’
Curly was the team’s elite ball handler for the Globetrotters following a successful career at Johnson C. Smith University … where he averaged 23 points a game.
The Globetrotters neighbor Curley “Boo” Johnson lamenting the loss of his friend on Twitter, saying “Last night the world lost a true ambassador for basketball and outside Muhammad Ali | one of the most recognizable faces on the Planet! “
“Rest in Peace my Brother ….”
Original Published – 11:22 AM PT