He grew up in the north side of Wilmington wanting to be an actor and singer. But at age 11, he saw a newsreel of the Harlem Globetrotters and shifted his dreams. He eventually joined the Globetrotter for whom he played from 1957 to 1979 and is best remembered as the clown prince of basketball. He played in more than 1,000 countries and his name is still immensely popular worldwide.
“I have done more than a person could hope to do,’’ said Lemon, who later in life became an evangelist.
Perhaps the late, great Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray provided the best description of Lemon when he wrote: “An American Institution whose uniform should hang alongside the Spirit of St. Louis and the Gemini Space Capsule in the halls of the Smithsonian Institute.’’
Oh by the way, he did get in act in movies and sing. He was in Modern Romance and The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh and recorded an album, My Kids.
And he was a regular on the ABC Wide World of Sports for his antics with the Globetrotter, which had some of the highest ratings in the history of the show,
“I had a great education traveling on a bus,’’ Lemon once told staff writer Chuck Carree. “The highlight was playing the game itself.’’
Date posted: March 23, 2009