Meadowlark Lemon

Meadowlark Lemon

Meadowlark Lemon
Meadowlark shooting at an exhibition game on an aircraft carrier
Born Meadow Lemon III
(1932-04-25) April 25, 1932
Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Occupation Basketball player, minister, entertainer
Known for The Harlem Globetrotters
Religion Christianity
Denomination Non-denominational
Meadowlark Lemon (left) meeting Betty Ford, during a 1974 visit to the White House

Meadow "Meadowlark" Lemon III (born April 25, 1932) is an American basketball player, actor, and minister. For 22 years, Lemon was known as the "Clown Prince" of the touring Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. He 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, and attended Florida A&M University.


  • Career 1
  • Television appearances 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Other work 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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. He was inducted into the hall three years later.

On May 18, 2009, it was announced that Lemon had become the new partial owner of the Smoky Mountain Jam of the American Basketball Association.[1]

Television appearances

In the 1970s, an animated version of Lemon (voiced by Scatman Crothers) starred with various other Globetrotters in the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon, Harlem Globetrotters,[2] as well as its spinoff, The Super Globetrotters.[3] The animated Globetrotters also made three appearances in The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

Lemon himself appeared with Curly Neal, Marques Haynes and his other fellow Globetrotters in a live-action Saturday-morning TV show, The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, in 1974-75, which also featured Rodney Allen Rippy and Avery Schreiber.[4]

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.[5]

Personal life

Meadowlark Lemon has 10 children: Richard, George, Beverly, Donna, Robin, Jonathan, Jamison, Angela, Crystal and Caleb.[6]

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. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his Meadowlark Lemon Ministries, Inc. and Meadowlark Lemon's Harlem All Stars maintain an office. Lemon is married to Dr. Cynthia Lemon.

Other work

Lemon starred in the 1979 Educational geography film Meadowlark Lemon Presents the World. Also in 1979, he joined the cast of the short-lived TV sit-com Hello, Larry in season two, to help boost the show's ratings. Still in 1979 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 1981, Lemon was featured in the Grammy-nominated video, The First National Kidisc,[7][8] an educational, interactive video produced by Optical Programming Associates on the then-emerging LaserDisc format.[9]


  1. ^ Dave Link. (May 14, 2009). "Meadowlark Lemon to back ABA team".  
  2. ^ Harlem Globetrotters - S1 Ep1 - The Great Geese Goof Up, YouTube
  3. ^ The Super Globetrotters Cartoon Intro (1979), YouTube
  4. ^ Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine (Opening & Closing), YouTube
  5. ^ Meadowlark Lemon Burger King Commercial, YouTube
  6. ^ Biography section from official website
  7. ^ "Thanks Grammy, For Praising Our Kids".   Note: Advertisement.
  8. ^ "Don't Buy a Magnavision Just Because It Plays Movies".   Note: Advertisement.
  9. ^ "The First National Kidisc / presented by Optical Programming Associates".  

External links

  • Official website
  • Meadowlark Lemon at the Internet Movie Database
  • Profile at Harlem Globetrotters official web site
  • The First National Kidisc on YouTube