“Curly” Neal, whose trademark shaved head and dazzling dribbling skills
delighted audiences of the Harlem Globetrotters, died on Thursday at the
age of 77.
Neal died at his home near Houston, according to an announcement on
the official webpage of the exhibition team, which brought basketball to
a global audience with its entertaining blend of comedy and athletic
"It was Curly's magical ball-handling, shooting, charismatic smile
and iconic bald head in more than 6 000 games in 97 countries, that made
them start to play and fall in love with the game," the Globetrotters
said of Neal, who played for the Globetrotters from 1963-1985.
"One of the truly magical dribblers and shooters in basketball
history, Neal fittingly played for 22 seasons in the red, white and
blue, wearing No 22."
"We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever
known," Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said.
basketball skill was unrivalled by most, and his warm heart and huge
smile brought joy to families worldwide."