Meadowlark Lemon, the Wilmington native known around the world as the “Crown Prince of Basketball,” has died. He was 83.
WWAY News reported Lemon’s death Sunday in Arizona, where he lived, which it said was confirmed by his wife Cynthia Lemon.
Lemon grew up in Wilmington with dreams of playing for the legendary Harlem Globetrotters, who he first saw in a newsreel when he was 11. According to the biography on his website, his basketball career started with a homemade hoop made out of a coat hanger and onion sack and a Carnation milk can for a ball.
After high school and a couple years in the military, Lemon joined the Globetrotters with his signature hook shot and legendary comedic talent, and became the face of the traveling team for more than two decades. He traveled more than five million miles and played more than 16,000 basketball games in more than 100 countries.