by Meadowlark Lemon with Lee Stuart
Meadowlark Lemon, the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” is a hero in the world of sports. His name and patented hook shot are ingrained in the memories of generations. Meadowlark was the most popular member of the most beloved sports team in history – the Harlem Globetrotters.
For more than five decades, he thrilled millions of fans with his basketball skills and slapstick comedy. A gifted athlete and hilarious comedian, he was as renowned for his famous confetti-inthe- water-bucket routine as he was for hitting hook shots from half court.
Meadowlark's “no-look, wrap-around pass” for an easy slam-dunk and his wit is unsurpassed. Los Angeles Times Sports Writer Jim Murray described Meadowlark as “…an American Institution whose uniform should hang alongside the Spirit of St. Louis and the Gemini Space Capsule in the halls of the Smithsonian Institute.”
He averaged more than 325 games a year; Meadowlark has traveled more than 5 million miles and played in more than 16,000 lifetime basketball games. His love of the game transcended all barriers and brought smiles to generations of fans in over 100 countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe. He counts Popes, Kings, Queens and Presidents among his audiences.
In 1986, he became an ordained minister and in 1998, received his Doctorate of Divinity from Vision International University.
Lee Stuart, after two previous careers – as a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper journalist with The Kansas City Star and as an executive leader of innovative business initiatives with Hallmark Cards – Lee is fulfilling a lifelong passion to write the stories of iconic sports figures like Meadowlark. Lee was a fair basketball player in his day, and he can still do a perfect impersonation of Meadowlark's high-pitched “i-yi-i-yi-yi” banter during the Globetrotters' hilarious maneuvers. Lee was the executive editor of Hoops Heaven: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the official publication of the hall's golden celebration.
He shoots 38% on hook shots in the driveway of his home in Overland Park, Kansas. He can dunk on his two sons, Don and Gene, his daughter, Maddie, and his wife, Diana ... if you set the goal at 9 feet.