How Carmelo Anthony Stays On the Ball
The NBA star scores points for his team and for young people following in his footsteps.
Carmelo's Hoop Dreams continued...
He entered high school, played basketball, and within a few years, he started to take charge of the game. But his transformation went beyond physical growth. He also did a lot of soul searching, and he found his answer.
"When you're a teenager, you go through a phase where you kind of get lost and you don't know what's your next step, what's going to happen to you next," says Anthony. "For me at that point, I looked at my circumstances and I saw something better for my life."
Anthony started to see basketball as a way up and out. Until then, Anthony says, he had coasted on his talent alone. He'd watch older players, pick up a few pointers, incorporate them into his game, and score points. But he realized the sport would require much more of him if he wanted to truly master it. "I didn't start taking it seriously until my junior year in high school," Anthony says. "But then I started putting the work, the hard work, into it."
The work soon started to pay off. As a junior at Towson Catholic High School, a private school north of Baltimore that has since closed, Anthony averaged 23 points per game, and The Baltimore Sun named him All Metropolitan Player of the Year for boys' basketball. For his senior year, he left Towson to attend Oak Hill Academy, a Virginia boarding school. There, he helped his team win 32 out of the 33 games they played, including a victory against fellow NBA star LeBron James' high school team. That same year, Anthony was named to the 2002 McDonald's All-American Team.
In 2003, as a freshman at Syracuse University, he led the basketball team to its first NCAA Championship and was named the tournament's most valuable player. That year, the 19-year-old Anthony left college to become the No. 3 NBA draft pick. He signed a $9 million, 3-year contract with the Denver Nuggets and an $18 million contract with Nike. In 2006, he accepted the Nuggets' $80 million offer to stay 5 more years, then was traded to the Knicks in 2011.
In his first year in the league, Anthony made the NBA's All-Rookie First Team and averaged 21 points per game. Since then, he's been named to the NBA All-Star Team six times. In 2004, as a member of Team USA, he took home a bronze medal at the Olympic Games. In 2008 and 2012, he and his team won Olympic gold.
How Carmelo Anthony Stays Healthy
The better Anthony played, the more he understood that the formula for success on the court involved more than just hours of practice. He had to fine-tune his body, make it work for him. Above all, he needed to learn how to be healthy, a skill no one had taught him as a kid.