Remembering George “Meadowlark” Lemon III’s Military Service

As many pay tribute to Lemon for his basketball career, we also pay tribute to the “Clown Prince of Basketball” for his military service.

While it’s not shocking that George “Meadowlark” Lemon III was instrumental to the game of basketball while playing with the Harlem Globetrotters, it may not be well known that this icon in sports history also served his country.

That’s right, before Lemon was passing the ball to ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, he wore a different uniform.

A young Lemon had set his sights on being a Globetrotter from a very early age, but was unsuccessful at landing a spot on the team during his first tryout. 

Then, in 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and his basketball dreams were put on hold.

Lemon’s second opportunity to become a Globetrotter would actually come while serving his country in Austria, where he would try out again for the team during their visit to Europe.

The result this time: a 40-game contract for a European Globetrotters tour that would eventually lead to his career as a Harlem Globetrotter.

Lemon will be remembered by many as one of the most influential Globetrotter players; however, we also honor and remember George “Meadowlark” Lemon III for his dedication to country and military service.