Curly Neal

  (Redirected from Fred Neal)

Fred "Curly" Neal (born May 19, 1942) is an American former 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.

Curly Neal
Curly Neal signing a ball at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island
Personal information
Born (1942-05-19) May 19, 1942 (age 77)
Greensboro, North Carolina
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight162 lb (73 kg)
Career information
High schoolDudley (Greensboro, North Carolina)
CollegeJohnson C. Smith
Playing career1963–1985
PositionPoint guard
Career history
1963–1985Harlem Globetrotters

Life and careerEdit

Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, Neal attended Greensboro-Dudley High School. He went to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. At Smith, he averaged 23.1 points a game and was named All-CIAA guard.

Neal played for 22 seasons (1963–85) with the Globetrotters, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries. His shaved head earned him his nickname, a reference to the Three Stooges' Curly Howard, and made him one of the most recognizable Globetrotters. In the 1970s, an animated version of Neal starred with various other Globetrotters in the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon Harlem Globetrotters as well as its spinoff, The Super Globetrotters. The animated Globetrotters also made three appearances in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Neal himself appeared with Meadowlark Lemon, Marques Haynes, and his other fellow Globetrotters in a live-action Saturday morning TV show, The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, in 1974–75, which also featured Rodney Allen Rippy and Avery Schreiber.[1]

On January 11, 2008, the Globetrotters announced that Neal's number 22 would be retired on February 15 in a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden as part of "Curly Neal Weekend."[2] Neal was just the fifth Globetrotter in the team's 82-year history to have his number retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Meadowlark Lemon (36), Marques Haynes (20) and Goose Tatum (50).[3] On January 31, 2008, it was announced that Neal would be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.[4]

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 has two daughters, Rocurl (Ro) and Laverne Neal, and six grandchildren, David, Dante, Jayden, Brandon, Deja and Hailey. Curly resides in Houston, Texas with his fiancé Linda Ware.


External linksEdit