On March 26, the sports world learned that Fred "Curly" Neal, Harlem Globetrotter legend, passed away. "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.
UPDATE: The Harlem Globetrotters pay tribute to Fred "Curly" Neal in the tweet below.
Neal wrote a perspective piece for USA Today in 2016 about what it meant to him to play for the Globetrotters, who broke down racial barriers as one of the first all-black basketball teams in the 1920s.More news: Mayor considers closing parks if New Yorkers do not practice social distancing
Neal said that particularly in its early days, being a part of the team "was as much a responsibility as it was a job".
Neal (left), shown here with fellow Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, has died at age 77.
Neal was born in Greensboro, N.C., and he graduated from Dudley High School before attending Johnson C. Smith, where he averaged 23 points per game. He would go on to spend 22 seasons with the Globetrotters from 1963 through 1985.More news: Hazard determined to shine at Real
He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008.
While the news is still fresh for many, basketball fans on Twitter are sharing their condolences and we join them in wishing a restful and powerful peace for the great Curly Neal and we also extend warm. thoughts to his family, friends, and fans worldwide.More news: China's local virus cases down