The Harlem Globetrotters have been pleasing crowds with their entertaining brand of basketball for 90 years, and George “Meadowlark” Lemon — dubbed the “Crown Prince of Basketball” — was a fan favorite throughout the years he hit the court. The basketball icon died Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 83 years old.
Lemon played for the showboating squad for 24 seasons, taking the court in roughly 100 countries and appearing in more than 16,000 games throughout his career. In 2003, the fun-loving basketball standout was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2010, Lemon penned the book “Trust Your Next Shot: A Guide to a Life of Joy,” detailing what it took for him to prevail over the many obstacles he faced growing up, including poverty and racism, to live the life he dreamed of.
Lemon played in the earliest shoes made for basketball, worn today as lifestyle silhouettes, from Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars to Adidas Superstars, the Superstar Pro Model, other low-top shoes from the brand and more.
“For a generation of fans, the name Meadowlark Lemon was synonymous with the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Kurt Schneider, CEO of the Globetrotters, in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”
Many of Lemon’s fans and those who saw him play during his career took to Twitter to express their condolences, including actor Rob Lowe and Mike Greenberg, co-host of the ESPN radio show “Mike & Mike.”
“Very few athletes brought more joy to more people than Meadowlark Lemon. Including me. Thanks for the memories, Clown Prince. #RIP,” Greenberg wrote.
Very few athletes brought more joy to more people than Meadowlark Lemon. Including me. Thanks for the memories, Clown Prince. #RIP
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) December 28, 2015