Former Dudley Panther and Greensboro resident Curly Neal will have his Harlem Globetrotters’ uniform number retired in special upcoming ceremonies. The bald head and his dribbling, ball spinning, passing skills and long-distance shooting touch made Curly Neal famous world-wide. Just about any kid that grew up in Greensboro remembers watching Curly Neal and the Globetrotters at the Greensboro Coliseum and watching all of his antics on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
The Harlem Globetrotters will retire Curly Neal’s No. 22 on Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Curly Neal played in more than 6,000 games in 22 years with the Globetrotters.
Neal will be just the fifth Globetrotter in the team’s 82-year history to have his number retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Meadowlark Lemon (36), Marques Haynes (20) and Goose Tatum (50).
“Curly Neal represents the purity of sport and everything that is great about the Globetrotters and the game of basketball,” Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said in a statement. “He helped build this organization into a worldwide phenomenon, and we are proud to bestow this honor upon him. He truly personifies wholesome family entertainment and elicits fond memories for millions of fans around the world.”
Neal played for 22 seasons (1963-85) with the Globetrotters, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries. During his time with the team, he appeared on several television shows and specials, including “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island” and “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine”; an animated version of Neal also appeared on “The Harlem Globetrotters” cartoon series and on episodes of “Scooby Doo.”
“Curly Neal Weekend” will also feature games Feb. 16 and 18 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and Feb. 17 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
*****A true champion of sport and entertainment, Curly Neal.***** from espn.com and GREENSBOROSports.com