Globetrotters to retire No. 22 during Curly Neal Weekend

Updated: January 11, 2008, 2:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Harlem Globetrotters will retire Curly Neal's No. 22 on Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.

[+] EnlargeCurly Neal
Courtesy of the Harlem GlobetrottersCurly Neal played in more than 6,000 games in 22 years with the Globetrotters.

Neal will be just the fifth Globetrotter in the team's 82-year history to have his number retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Meadowlark Lemon (36), Marques Haynes (20) and Goose Tatum (50).

"Curly Neal represents the purity of sport and everything that is great about the Globetrotters and the game of basketball," Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider said in a statement. "He helped build this organization into a worldwide phenomenon, and we are proud to bestow this honor upon him. He truly personifies wholesome family entertainment and elicits fond memories for millions of fans around the world."

Neal played for 22 seasons (1963-85) with the Globetrotters, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries. During his time with the team, he appeared on several television shows and specials, including "ABC's Wide World of Sports," "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" and "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine"; an animated version of Neal also appeared on "The Harlem Globetrotters" cartoon series and on episodes of "Scooby Doo."

"Curly Neal Weekend" will also feature games Feb. 16 and 18 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and Feb. 17 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.