Meadowlark Lemon facts for kids

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Meadowlark Lemon
Meadowlark shooting at an exhibition game on an aircraft carrier
Meadow Lemon III

(1932-04-25)April 25, 1932
Died December 27, 2015(2015-12-27) (aged 83)
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Occupation Basketball player, minister, entertainer
Known for The Harlem Globetrotters

Meadow "Meadowlark" Lemon III (April 25, 1932 – December 27, 2015) was an American basketball player, actor, and Christian minister. For 22 years, Lemon was known as the "Clown Prince" of the touring Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.

Lemon played in more than 16,000 games for the Globetrotters and is a 2003 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina.

He studied at a historically black college, Florida A&M University in 1952, but was drafted into the US Army before he could finish. The Globetrotters first became aware of Lemon in 1954 while he was in Austria in the army and they were touring Europe.

Lemon died on December 27, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona, aged 83.

The White House

Lemon visited the White House to meet President Gerald Ford and First Lady, Betty Ford in 1974.

Lemon says: "I was also a good friend of the Reagan's [sic] because I'm also an actor. I worked closely with Nancy Reagan on her 'Just say no to drugs' program." This was a program started by First Lady Reagan to discourage illegal drug use by young people.

Later life

A born-again Christian, Lemon became an ordained minister in 1986. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Vision International University in San Diego, California, in 1988.

In 2009, Lemon became a part-owner of the Smoky Mountain Jam of the American Basketball Association. This was a semi-professional men's basketball league that was formed in 1999.

Lemon Ford
Meadowlark Lemon (left) meeting Betty Ford, during a 1974 visit to the White House. The basketball was autographed by Harlem Globetrotters members.

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