Carmelo Anthony is used to stardom. A heralded high school baller from Baltimore, Anthony spent his first three years at Towson Catholic High School before transferring to Oak Hill Academy for a stellar senior year that catapulted him from local star to USA Today first team All-American. A year later, Anthony led the Syracuse Orangemen to the NCAA National Championship and took center stage as a fearless scorer with a mammoth swagger. Anthony diced up defenses with a youthful cockiness punctuated by a smirk, corn-rowed braids, tattoos, and baggy shorts. After the championship, Anthony hoisted the trophy with a doo-rag and a backwards National Championship hat spun to the side. Carmelo Anthony, before even suiting up for an NBA squad, was already a star.
“Melo was selected third in the NBA draft in 2003, with LeBron James and Darko MiliÄiÄ‡ selected ahead, and the Denver Nuggets couldn’t have been happier, as they landed a proven scorer with big shot poise. After making a splash in the NBA and giving LeBron a run for his money in the Rookie of the Year voting, Anthony seemed up to the pressure and speed of the NBA. Nike wasted no time getting Carmelo to join their brand. Besides landing a huge contract, “Melo was one of a select few on the Nike basketball roster to receive a signature sneaker. His first release, The Air Jordan Melo 1.5, fused elements from the Air Jordan I and Air Jordan II with some touches that Anthony himself suggested. Last year, a new, long-term contract ensured that unique “Melo releases will continue for a long time.
In 2004, Anthony joined the bronze-medal winning USA Olympic Basketball team, and in 2006, he starred on the FIBA International team, as he set the single-game scoring record with 35 points against Italy. As an integral part of the 2008 “Redeem Team,” Anthony again thrived on the international stage in Beijing. 2008 was also a landmark NBA season for Carmelo, as he led the Nuggets to the conference finals, only to lose to the eventual-champion Lakers. Now Carmelo seems poised to again lead his team deep into the playoffs, and if he has his way, take home the Naismith trophy.
Anthony breaks ankles, swats shots, and nets three-pointers regularly during the season, but he, like today’s other superstar athletes, does much more than perform on the court or field. Anthony now enjoys a career that’s more than points and rebounds as the founder of Kross Over Entertainmentâ€”home to artists like Cassidy and Diego Cash. Melo told us in his interview with Freshness that he prefers to stay “behind he scenes,” rather than get behind the mic or mixing boards. His media endeavors don’t stop with music, as Melo was among the producers of the critically-acclaimed documentary Tyson that released this year.
- Produced by: Dan Hwang | Written and Interviewed by: Jesse Carr