Meadowlark Lemon, who entertained fans for more than two decades as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, died Sunday. He was 83. Lemon’s death was first reported by The New York Times.
Meadow Lemon III, was a native of North Carolina. He played college basketball at Florida A&M and was drafted into the Army for two years before he joined the Globetrotters in 1954. He played in over 16,000 games when he retired from the squad in 1978.
He changed his name to Meadowlark in the 50’s because he said, “The birds named meadowlark are known for their sweet and happy songs. I always tried to put a song in the hearts of my fans.”
Meadowlark was inducted into the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2003 and received the NBA Lifetime Achievement – John Bunn Award for Lifetime Achievement in the year 2000, which is considered the highest honor given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame outside of induction. Meadowlark was also enshrined as part of the Harlem Globetrotters Team in 2002 and the Team’s John Bunn Award in 1999.