Fred "Curly" Neal, one of the most famous members of the barnstorming basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters, died Thursday at the age of 77, the team announced.
"We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known,” Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said. "Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide."
Neal played in more than 6,000 Globetrotters games between 1963 and 1985. In 2008, he became one of just five players from the team to have their jersey retired, joining names like Wilt Chamberlain and Meadowlark Lemon.