Renowned as the Clown Prince of Basketball, the legendary Meadowlark Lemon was more than just a baller in his time. He was the definition of an icon. Lemon wrote his name on the sands of time as a professional basketball player. His charisma in the court made him a fan favourite as he kept his spectators charmed throughout his career. Basketball couldn’t get any funnier with him around.
A household name as far the world of sports is concerned, Lemon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. During his very successful career with the Globetrotters, the great baller played in more than 7,500 consecutive games and logged more than four million miles. He played in approximately 100 countries.
In addition to playing football, Lemon also dabbled into acting and was also a Christian minister ordained in 1986.
Meadowlark Lemon, Bio, Height
The basketball great born Meadow Lemon III was professionally known as Meadowlark Lemon. He was born on April 25, 1932, in Wilmington, North Carolina, he attended Williston Industrial School where he graduated in 1952. Shortly after matriculating into Florida A&M University, he was drafted into the United States Army, serving for two years stationed in Austria and West Germany.
The Beginning Of An Era
Lemon’s passion for the game of basketball inspired him to make his first basketball hoop out of an onion sack and coat hanger. Subsequently, he sank his first 2-point hoop with the help of an empty Carnation milk can which served as his ball. His dream was fulfilled in 1954 when Lemon applied to the Globetrotters when he was 22. He made his debut with the team in 1955. After playing thousands of games for the Globetrotters, Lemon left in 1980 to form one of his Globetrotters imitators, the Bucketeers which he played with until 1983 before moving on to play with the Shooting Stars from 1984 to 1987.
After forming his own touring team – Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All Stars in 1988, Lemon returned to the Globetrotters and played a total of 50 games with them in 1994.
Apparently, his prowess in and outside the court didn’t go unrewarded as in 2000, Lemon received the John Bunn Award which is the highest honor given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame outside induction. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame three years later.
As a professional baller, Lemon stands tall at 6ft 3in (191 cm)
Acting And TV Career
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, he was part of the cast for a short-lived sit-com called Hello, Larry. He also took up the role of Reverend Grady Jackson in the 1979 film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. Also in the 1970s, an animated version of Lemon, voiced by Scatman Crothers, starred with various other Globetrotters in the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon series Harlem Globetrotters, including its spinoff, The Super Globetrotters.
Again, the baller, alongside his other fellow Globetrotters appeared in a live-action Saturday-morning television show, The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, in 1974–1975. He also featured in the Grammy-nominated video Fun & Games, an interactive educational video produced by Optical Programming Associates and Scholastic Productions in 1982.
Lemon made appearances in several other shows and commercials including; a Burger King commercial, a Charmin toilet paper commercial alongside Mr Whipple and a slew of others.
An Ordained Christian Minister
If his prowess in the church is anything to go by, there’s no doubt that Lemon was a born-again Christian. Notably, he featured as a gospel singer within several Gaither Homecoming videos. In fact, he went on to become an ordained minister in 1986 and started the Meadowlark Lemon Ministries, Inc. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Vision International University in Ramona, California, in 1988. The most part of his last years was spent taking up residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his Meadowlark Lemon Ministries, Inc. is located.
Meadowlark Lemon Net Worth and Cause Of Death
Following his career as a professional basketball player, actor and an ordained minister, Lemon had a net worth of $2 million before his death.
The renowned Clown Prince of Basketball died in Scottsdale, Arizona on December 27, 2015. He was 83 at the time. While his death was confirmed by reliable sources, the cause was not made public.
Meadowlark Lemon Children
Left to mourn the legend are his ten children including; Richard, George, Beverly, Donna, Robin, Jonathan, Jamison, Angela, Crystal, and Caleb. Lemon was married twice in his lifetime to Willye and Cynthia respectively. The latter was with him until the day he died.