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Meadowlark Lemon (1932 - 2015)

Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives

Meadowlark Lemon (1932 - 2015)

Meadowlark Lemon, whose half-court hook shots and basketball-spinning antics as a member of the touring Harlem Globetrotters entertained fans worldwide for more than two decades, has died. He was 83.

Lemon, who later became an ordained minister, died Sunday in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lived, according to his wife, Cynthia.

Lemon dreamed of becoming a Harlem Globetrotter when he was a boy. He was named to the team in 1955 after he attended Florida A&M University and served in the U.S. Army during the early 1950s. He played with the Globetrotters until 1980, when he left to join a Globetrotters knock-off team, the Bucketeers. He also played with another team, the Shooting Stars, in the ‘80s before forming his own Globetrotters-like team, Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All Stars. The Globetrotters was his first love, however, and he rejoined the team for their 1994 touring season.

According to his personal website, Lemon became an ordained minister in 1986. He also became a motivational speaker.


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He was born Meadow Lemon III April 25, 1932, in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by 10 children, five girls and five boys: Richard, George, Beverly, Donna, Robin, Jonathan, Jamison, Angela, Crystal and his youngest, Caleb Lark Lemon.

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