Fred Neal Wiki – Biography
Frederick Neal was an American basketball player who played with the Harlem Globetrotters. Following in the footsteps of Marques Haynes, Neal became the Trotters’ featured ballhandler, a key role in the team’s exhibition act.
Former Harlem Globetrotter Fred “Curly” Neal died at age 77 at his home in Houston, the exhibition basketball team announced Thursday.
Neal’s awe-inspiring ballhandling and legendary shooting skills made him one of the Globetrotters’ featured players for 22 seasons, before he left the team in 1985. His bald head earned him the nickname “Curly,” a reference to the hairless Three Stooges member Curly Howard.
Fred Neal Age
Fred Neal was 77 years old. He was born on May 19, 1942 in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States.
Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, Neal attended James B. Dudley High School and Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1959 to 1963. At Smith, he averaged 23.1 points a game and was named All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) guard.
A mural commemorating Neal’s achievements both as a Globetrotter and during his time at Dudley High School is painted in the basketball gym of the Hayes-Taylor Memorial YMCA at 1101 East Market Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. He had two daughters, Rocurl (Raquel) and Laverne Neal, and six grandchildren, David, Dante, Jayden, Brandon, Deja, and Hailey. Neal lived in Houston with his fiancée Linda Ware until his death.
Globetrotters General Manager Jeff Munn said in a statement Thursday that the organization has lost “one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known.”
“His basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide,” Munn said. “He always made time for his many fans and inspired millions.
“Neal’s number, 22, was retired in 2008, and his jersey was lifted into the rafters at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was honored with a “Legends” ring, given to those who have made major contributions to the development of the Globetrotters.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Neal played college ball at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and was eventually inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Neal also enjoyed a television career, playing himself in a number of programs and specials. He appeared on “The Love Boat,” “The White Shadow” and the TV movie “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.”
He also did voice work in episodes of Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon “The New Scooby-Doo Movies,” assisting the gang in solving mysteries, and in the Globetrotters’ own animated series.
Former Globetrotter Curley “Boo” Johnson, who joined the team after Neal’s departure, mourned the legend’s loss in a statement Thursday on Twitter.
“Last night the World lost a true ambassador of the game of basketball and outside of Muhammad Ali one of the most recognizable faces on the Planet!” Johnson wrote.
Cause of Death
Fred “Curly” Neal, whose flashy dribbling skills and smile made him a Harlem Globetrotters legend, has died at 77, according to the team.
Neal died at his home near Houston.
“We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known,” said Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said. “His basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide. He always made time for his many fans and inspired millions.”
“For those who say the game has evolved? I say what’s old is new again! Distance Shot making and dribbling is back!! #CurlyNeal and #MarcusHaynes taught me how to dribble #Globetrotters,” basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas tweeted.
For those who say the game has evolved? I say what’s old is new again! Distance Shot making and dribbling is back!! #CurlyNeal and #MarcusHaynes taught me how to dribble #Globetrotters https://t.co/c1C2I7534g
— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) March 26, 2020
Sports commentator Mike Greenberg said Neal made many people happy.
“When I was a kid, there was nothing more fun than going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. And this man was the reason,” he tweeted. “He made as many people smile as any athlete that ever lived. About as good an epitaph as you could ever have. Rest In Peace, Curly Neal. Thanks for all the fun.”
Neal was from Greensboro, North Carolina, and went to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, where he averaged more than 23 points per game and led his team to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) title during his senior season.
His net worth is being update.