Neal Inducted Into N.C. Sports Hall of Fame

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: May 16, 2008

RALEIGH — Johnson C. Smith University alumnus Fred “Curly” Neal was among eight inductees at the 45th annual North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame held at the North Raleigh Hilton on Thursday evening.

Neal became the 253rd member of the prestigious Hall of Fame and joins the likes of other HOF members from the CIAA such as Sam Jones (1969), Dr. Leroy Walker (1975), Clarence “Big House” Gaines (1978), Bobby Vaughan (1992), John McLendon (1994), and George Williams (2000) to name a few.

While at Johnson C. Smith University, Neal earned All-CIAA honors in 1961 and 1963. In his senior year, he averaged 23.1 points per game and led his team to the CIAA title.

Neal went on to play in 6,000 games, over 22 years, with the Harlem Globetrotters. He traveled millions of miles, performed in 97 countries as a dribbling sensation. Neal continues to work with the Globetrotters in their Public Relations Department.

“Outstanding athletic achievement and high standards of professionalism are hallmarks of these inductees. They have brought honor and prestige to themselves, their sports and the state of North Carolina. Their achievements have brightened the sports heritage of our state,” said Wilt Browning of Kernersville, President of the Hall.

The other 2008 inductees are: Tom Butters of Durham; Richard Childress of Welcome; Leo Hart of Duke; Bill Hensley of Charlotte; Ken Huff of Durham; Jack Jensen of Greensboro; and Roy Williams of Chapel Hill

The N. C. Sports Hall of Fame, with 260 members, was established in 1963 and is housed in the N. C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

The permanent exhibit includes sports artifacts ranging from a Richard Petty race car to the Homestead Grays’ uniform worn by the late Walter “Buck” Leonard, who played baseball in the Negro National League.