Meadowlark Lemon, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina attended Williston High School and graduated in 1952.
He is perhaps the best-known and beloved member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Known as the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” and for his near perfect hook shot from half-court, Meadowlark joined the Globetrotters in 1957.
That year the Globetrotters, official American Ambassadors of Goodwill, began annual performances at military bases and naval aircraft carriers during Christmas. In 1960, Meadowlark and the team traveled behind the iron curtain to perform a series of shows in Moscow.
Meadowlark has played in over 16,000 games in a career that lasted until 1979. He starred in most of the team’s appearances on the ABC Wide World of Sports. He was portrayed in the Saturday morning animated show, The Harlem Globetrotters from 1970 to 1971.
In 1972, he starred in the Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, a one-hour musical-variety TV series.
In fact, in 1978, a nationwide poll named Meadowlark Lemon the fourth most popular personality in America, only John Wayne, Alan Alda, and Bob Hope preceded him.
Meadowlark, who has played basketball in over 70 nations and before two Popes, also played with the Bucketeers (1980-83), Shooting Stars (1984-87) and the Meadowlark Lemon Harlem All-Stars (1988-98). He played 50 games for the Globetrotters in 1994. In 2000 he earned the Basketball Hall of Fame’s John Bunn Award, the most prestigious award given by the Hall of Fame outside of actual Enshrinement.
As the comedy star of the famous Harlem Globetrotters, Meadowlark Lemon has endeared himself and his country to millions of people throughout the world.
Today Meadowlark is a minister. With a potential audience of over 30 million people, his television ministry focuses on athletic and entertainment figures testimonials, gang ministry, youth outreach, youth prison work; and youth drug awareness.