|Meadow George Lemon III|
April 25, 1932 – December 27, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
I want you to always remember that life’s most meaningless statistic is the half time score, and as far as I’m concerned it’s always half-time. I wish you joy, my friends. In the great game of life, Trust Your Next Shot.
- Meadowlark Lemon
Lemon was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and attended Williston Industrial School, graduating in 1952. He then matriculated into Florida A & M University, but was soon drafted into the United States Army, serving for two years.
Lemon made his first basketball hoop out of an onion sack and coat hanger, using an empty Carnation milk can to sink his first 2-point hoop.
Lemon first applied to the Globetrotters in 1954 at age 22, finally being chosen to play the following year (1955). In 1980, he left to form one of his Globetrotters imitators, the Bucketeers. He played with that team until 1983, then moved on to play with the Shooting Stars from 1984 to 1987. In 1988, he moved on to "Meadowlark Lemon's Harlem All Stars" team. Despite being with his own touring team, Lemon returned to the Globetrotters, playing 50 games with them in 1994.
In 2000, Lemon received the John Bunn Award, the highest honor given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame outside of induction.
Lemon appeared alongside Fred "Curly" Neal, Marques Haynes and his other fellow Globetrotters in a live-action Saturday-morning television show, The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, in 1974–1975, which also featured Rodney Allen Rippy and Avery Schreiber.
In 1978, Lemon appeared in a memorable Burger King commercial by making a tower of burgers until he found a double-beef pickles and onions burger and no cheeseburger.
In 1983, Lemon appeared in a Charmin toilet paper commercial alongside Mr. Whipple (actor Dick Wilson).
In 1979, Lemon starred in the educational geography film Meadowlark Lemon Presents the World. Also in 1979, he joined the cast of the short-lived television sitcom Hello, Larry in season two, to help boost the show's ratings; in the same year, he played Rev. Grady Jackson in the movie The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. It was several years before he actually became an ordained minister himself.
In 1982, Lemon was featured in the Grammy-nominated video Fun and Games, an interactive educational video produced by Optical Programming Associates and Scholastic Productions, on the then-emerging LaserDisc format.
Meadowlark Lemon had 10 children: Richard, George, Beverly, Donna, Robin, Jonathan, Jamison, Angela, Crystal and Caleb.
Lemon's estranged first wife Willye pleaded guilty to simple assault after admitting to stabbing Lemon with a steak knife in 1978.
A born-again Christian, Lemon became an ordained minister in 1986 and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Vision International University in Ramona, California, in 1988. In his last years, he took up residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his Meadowlark Lemon Ministries, Inc. is located. After his first marriage ended in divorce, Lemon married Dr. Cynthia Lemon in 1994.
The song says it all.
Good Night Meadowlark