Meadowlark Lemon, Beloved Harlem Globetrotter Great, Dies at 83, Questlove & More React
The sports world is mourning the loss of beloved Harlem Globetrotter great George “Meadowlark” Lemon. The veteran athelte, dubbed “the clown prince of basketball,” passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Sunday (Dec. 27). He was 83.
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Meadowlark Lemon joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1954 and entertained fans all over the world as their top showman for 24 seasons. Known for his half-court jump shots and amazing ball-handling skills, Lemon would even amaze (and also inspire) professional basketball players.
As a Globetrotter, Lemon appeared on several popular television programs and specials, including The Ed Sullivan Show, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, CBS Sports Spectacular and The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine. He also appeared in numerous national television commercials and was immortalized in animation on The Harlem Globetrotters cartoon series and on episodes of Scooby Doo.
“For a generation of fans, the name Meadowlark Lemon was synonymous with the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider (via a press release). “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 enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, three years after receiving the John W. Bunn Award, in recognition of his indelible contributions to the game of basketball.
Upon hearing the news of Meadowlark Lemon’s death Questlove and other celebrities and musicians went on social media to express their condolences.
“Man. #MeadowlarkLemon such a vital part of my childhood in the 70s. The #HarlemGlobetrotters were inescapable, be it their live action show in the early 70s or even when they were a super cartoon doing crossover eps occasionally with the #ScoobyDoo gang,” wrote Questo. “More importantly lemon was a member of the #MightyPieces, #DrJ’s awesome teammate in #TheFishThatSavedPittsburgh man he will be missed. Rip!”
Funeral services for Meadowlark Lemon are still pending.
We want to send our heartfelt condolences to Meadowlark Lemon’s family and friends. May he rest in peace.
— Harlem Globetrotters (@Globies) December 28, 2015
RIP Meadowlark Lemon wow
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) December 28, 2015
— Living Colour (@LivingColour) December 28, 2015
The Great Meadowlark Lemon of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters dies at 83. Rest In Basketball Heaven Sir! pic.twitter.com/X8BXKLxiV9
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) December 28, 2015
Man. #MeadowlarkLemon such a vital part of my childhood in the 70s. The #HarlemGlobetrotters were inescapable, be it their live action show in the early 70s or even when they were a super cartoon doing crossover eps occasionally with the #ScoobyDoo gang. I wasn't allowed to watch much sat morn cartoons but occasionally I'd sneak and watch this because…..well hey what dude with objects like telephone poles & toolboxes coming out their Afros wasn't gonna make an impression on me back then. More importantly lemon was a member of the #MightyPieces, #DrJ's awesome teammate in #TheFishThatSavedPittsburgh man he will be missed. Rip!