Fred “Curly” Neal, one of the most well-known members of the Harlem Globetrotters thanks to his almost superhuman dribbling skills, died Thursday morning at the age of 77. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Neal died in his home outside of Houston. “We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known,” said Globetrotters General Manager Jeff Munn in a statement on Twitter. “Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide.” Between 1963 and 1985, Neal appeared in over 6,000 games in 97 countries for the team—and even appeared on shows like the The Ed Sullivan Show, Love Boat, Gilligan's Island, and Scooby Doo. Neal, known as a ball-handling wizard on the court, was recognizable by his shaved head and wide smile. The team retired his number 22, one of the only five the team has ever retired. “Hard to express how much joy Curly Neal brought to my life growing up. RIP to a legend,” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr wrote in a tweet.
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