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Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77

Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries.
Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Basketball legend Curly Neal speaks during a ceremony as his No. 22 is retired by the world renowned Harlem Globetrotters at Madison Square Garden, Friday, Feb. 15, 2008 in New York.

Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, has died. He was 77.

The Globetrotters announced Neal's death, but did not provide any other details.

Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963 to 1985, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism.

He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008.

Credit: AP Photo/File
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 1977, file photo, the Harlem Globetrotters' Fred "Curly" Neal of shows New York City Mayor Abe Beame the art of balancing a basketball on a finger during ceremony at City Hall. Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, has died the Globetrotters announced Thursday, March 26, 2020. He was 77. Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism.

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