SCOTTSDALE, AZ., Dec. 28, 2015 (UPI) — Legendary Harlem Globetrotter star Meadowlark Lemon, the “Clown Prince of basketball” has died at the age of 83.
Confirmed by his wife Dr. Cynthia Lemon on Sunday, the talented athlete died while at his home in Scottsdale Ariz.
Lemon left his mark on the sport touring around the world with the Globetrotters playing with the team for 24 seasons and 16,000 games from 1954 until 1979. Lemon also came back for a 50-game stretch in 1993 as part of a “comeback” tour.
The basketball great was known for his impressive half-court hook shots, tricky behind-the-back passes and for dousing referees in cold buckets of water.
“For a generation of fans, the name Meadowlark Lemon was synonymous with the Harlem Globetrotters,” Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said. “He was an incredible entertainer and brought happiness and lifelong memories to millions around the world. We have lost a great ambassador of the game.”
Lemon was also known for appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Diff’rent Strokes” and in animated form as part of a Harlem Globetrotters animated series and in episodes of “Scooby Doo.”
The Hall of Famer spent his later years as a motivational speaker for children at basketball camps and youth prisons. Lemon also an ordained minister published a memoir, Trust Your Next Shot: A Guide to a Life of Joy in 2010 which covered his time with the Harlem Globetrotters.