Some people say Bird, others say Jordan was their favorite basketball player. My favorite never won a ring, but he did win a lot of children’s hearts. He was Meadowlark Lemon, the star of the Harlem Globetrotters.
As a child, I saw him on Scooby Doo, voiced by the man behind Hong Kong Phooey, Scatman Crothers. In “real life” he was on the show Alice, and on tv displays of his skill. What made him special to me, was I enjoyed watching him. He wasn’t only good at the game, he connected with the fans.
Later on, I knew that he had given his life to God, and became an ordained Minister. Though I never heard him speak, I’ll never forget the impact of knowing, even celebrity kneeels at Calvary. Say what you want, but in formative years, that made an impact.
That’s the word that best honors him. He impacted countless people. Whether it was his skill on the court, the smile and laughter he gave, or the commitment to God, he impacted a lot of lives. To my knowledge he did so without announcing an addiction, using curse words, or worrying the parents who took their children to see him.
No one ever had to worry about what Meadowlark would say. No one had to worry about a scandal. The only thing I remember being sad about with Meadowlark, was when he stopped playing.
He passed away in 2015, after a little over 20 years of Ministry. This included many songs on the Gaither Gospel videos. He used his fame to point to Jesus. I can think of no better use of celebrity than that. He was a champion to me.
For believers, the story is never over, you only transition to another season, one beyond this vale of tears. In this life, Mr Lemon had many a successful season. However no arena of life compares with that of Heaven. It’s where we all aspire to join Heaven’s choir, and sing like a Meadowlark.