NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBS) – Meadowlark Lemon is a name synonymous with the game of basketball, even among those who don’t really follow the sport. A Harlem Globetrotters legend, Lemon has written a book that is now available, called Trust Your Next Shot.
“This is a book about joy,” he told KYW Newsradio’s Matt Leon. “This is a book about love, taking care of your body, a whole bunch of things. Living a different life than what other people live. You have to change your life when you become a certain age, when you have a certain status. There are certain things you did early in your life that you really can’t do anymore. You have to change,” he notes.
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Meadowlark Lemon in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Already with several decades of hoops on his résumé, Lemon still plays 60 to 80 games a year with his “Meadowlark Lemon Harlem All-Stars.” His time with the Globetrotters, of course, is what made him a household name and he talked about how that journey began.
“It really started when I was 11 years old, when I saw the Globetrotters on a newsreel. This was before Fox News and ESPN, and this was one of the places we could get the news, not the updated news, but the news from last week. We were all sitting in this little theatre in Wilmington, North Carolina, when I saw these men (the Globetrotters) doing what they were doing,” he recalls. “I immediately said this was the journey I was going to take. This was the vision that I wanted in my life.'”
Lemon has played literally everywhere in the world and has countless stories and memories. Some of his fondest involve basketball and Philadelphia legend Wilt Chamberlain, who spent time with Lemon as a Globetrotter teammate.
“He was one of the best friends I ever had,” Lemon says. “When I moved to California he lived at the top of the hill, I lived at the bottom of the hill. He had a big house, I had a medium-size house. That didn’t stop our love for each other. We were more like brothers than just friends, because we fought about anything — who had the best shot, who could jump the highest.”
Lemon will be signing copies of his book on Saturday at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Willow Grove, Pa., from 11am to 1pm.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060