- the Harlem Globetrotters.
Meadowlark Lemon: His name and patented hook shot are ingrained in the memories of more than one generation. There is probably not one country where he hasn’t performed his on-court artistry.
The name is unforgettable. The face, the voice, and the laugh are instantly recognizable. Meadowlark Lemon, the “Clown Prince of Basketball”, is, simply put, a legendary hero in the world of sports. Meadowlark was the most popular member of the most beloved sports team in history – the Harlem Globetrotters.
He has been the creative force and focal point of international, comedic basketball since he began his career with the Harlem Globetrotters more than five decades ago.
From the inner-city playgrounds where youngsters try to duplicate his basketball artistry to the luxurious cities of the world, Meadowlark Lemon is a household name.
For more than five decades, the irrepressible “Clown Prince of Basketball” thrilled millions of fans with his basketball skills and slapstick comedy. A gifted athlete and hilarious comedian, he was as renowned for his famous confetti-in-the-water-bucket routine as he was for hitting hook shots from half court. Meadowlark’s “no-look, wrap-around pass” for an easy slam-dunk and his ability to turn a hapless referee into a foil for his wit is unsurpassed.
In his nationally-syndicated column, Los Angeles Times Sports Writer, Jim Murray, described Meadowlark Lemon as “…an American Institution whose uniform should hang alongside the Spirit of St. Louis and the Gemini Space Capsule in the halls of the Smithsonian Institute”.
Above all else, it was Meadowlark’s dazzling, ever-present smile that charmed fans both young and old. His exuberance and boyish mischievousness never faded, and everyone joined in the fun.
Even today, fans will relay stories of the time they witnessed his performance. On television or in the arena, you knew you were watching a gifted athlete who loved his game, and the people who were watching him. The ageless hoop master also strives to reach today’s youth through Camp Meadowlark, a co-ed sports camp begun in 1989 to educate and offer children alternatives to the dangers of substance abuse. Throughout their nation wide camps, Meadowlark and his staff stress the importance of drug awareness and the urgency of the problems gripping our youth.
Meadowlark’s message is simple: “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.”
Meadowlark says, “Being able to reach out and talk to kids about substance abuse and have an impact on their lives is my main purpose for the camp.” There has always been more to Meadowlark then just comedy, and now he is getting to show it.
Meadowlark Lemon is a world tradition, and with the upcoming Hall of Fame Tour – Skyway to 10,000th Game and the Children’s World Foundation Tour, the tradition continues.