Former Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon: Sports Needs More Like Him

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogFormer Harlem Globetrotter icon Meadowlark Lemon passed away yesterday at age 83.

He will certainly be missed because the world, and not just the world of sports, needs more people like him.

Universally known for his infectious smile, basketball skill and amazing ability to entertain people of all ages, races and backgrounds, Meadowlark Lemon was graced with the endearing nickname “The Crown Prince of Basketball.”

The 6’6” native of Wilmington, North Carolina lit up every gymnasium, arena or stadium he ever entered with his beaming smile. The undisputed leader of the Globetrotters emanated trust while carrying unbridled joy whenever and wherever he played the game he loved. He performed selflessly, wholesomely and brilliantly on the basketball court.

Fans flocked to watch him perform. In his 26 year career with the Harlem Globetrotters, Lemon played in an astounding 16,000 games and traveled an estimated 5 million miles to more than 100 countries to lace ‘em up and entertain before heads of state, royalty, clerical leaders, basketball fans and especially kids.

Beloved, admired, sought after, color blind, caring, talented and flat out funny are only a few of the adjectives to describe this basketball showman. Known to sign every autograph and not leave the arena until every fan photo was taken, Lemon truly embodied his message.

In his nationally syndicated column, Los Angeles Times Sports Writer, Jim Murray, described Meadowlark Lemon as “an American Institution whose uniform should hang alongside the Spirit of St. Louis and the Gemini Space Capsule in the halls of the Smithsonian Institute. He did more for basketball than 10 seasons of the Boston Celtics.”

Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, Lemon’s entertaining ability was matched by his basketball talent. In addition to his famous no-look, behind-the-back-passes, Lemon perfected an incredibly accurate half-court hook shot he effortlessly made against the Globetrotters’ hapless opponent the Washington Generals.

Widely regarded for both his kindness and comedy, Lemon will always stand tall as one of the sports world’s most beloved figures.

During an era of self-aggrandizing athletes like Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Conor McGregor, Cam Newton, Dez Bryant, Kobe Bryant and more, Meadowlark Lemon will certainly be missed.

Because the sports world needs more people like the “Crown Prince of Basketball.”

And that’s my 2 cents.

MIKE on sports!

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