One day an eleven-year old boy watched wide-eyed in a movie house, as a basketball team–the Harlem Globetrotters–performed things on the big screen with a basketball that set him to dreaming.
Meadow George Lemon III was going to be a Harlem Globetrotter when he grew up.
A child’s dream? Yes, but this one came true beyond his wildest imagination. The Website of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts writes of the man who became famous as “Meadowlark” Lemon”:
“Few athletes in any sport have impacted their sport on a worldwide level more than Meadowlark Lemon. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved member of the Harlem Globetrotters, Lemon played in more than 16,000 games – 7,500 consecutively – for the Globetrotters in a career that began in 1954 and lasted until 1978. Known as the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” Lemon’s favored “can’t miss” halfcourt hookshot and comedic routines entertained millions of fans in more than 70 countries around the globe.”
The little boy had grown up to play basketball in front of popes, presidents and kings. He died in December of 2015 after becoming one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the world. (Watch Meadowlark play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMuy8QrXhZU)
Lemon was born in 1932 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended Williston Industrial School, graduating in 1952.
Meadow, who lengthened his name to Meadowlark after joining the Globetrotters — didn’t have money for a basketball when he was young. So he so he made a hoop in the backyard with a coat hanger attaching an onion sack for the basket.
He made began his “career” shooting an empty Carnation milk can in place of a basketball. Continue reading