Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York to an African American mother, Mary and Puerto Rican father who he is named after. He is the youngest of four and before his third birthday his father passed away , leaving Mary a struggling single mother.
While his mother worked as a housekeeper, his much older siblings helped to raise him as they lived in the projects of Red Hook. To pass the time, Anthony would watch hours of March Madness and NBA Playoff games.
After the passing of his father, his life would go on to change more once his siblings went on their own paths and left home. This time around, Mary had to take care of Anthony on her own and she moved her son to Baltimore when he was eight. What she didn’t know was that the area called the “The Pharmacy,” was plagued by drugs, prostitution and crime.
To keep her son away from trouble she threatened to keep him off the basketball court if he didn’t behave. This incentive would later help him in his high school, college and NBA career as a basketball player. By 1999, the high school sophomore from Towson Catholic High School was becoming one of the best ball players in the Baltimore area.
Although he was 6’5″, Anthony and his mother knew he wasn’t ready for the big leagues of basketball yet. To keep from slipping with grades in school, Anthony later attended the strict Oak Hill Academy, and worked out more so that he would go from a skinny high school basketball player to become a possible division one college prospect. By the time he graduated he went to Syracuse University where he shined by helping the team out of a slump to become a winning streak that led to the Big East Tournament semifinals.
From this point, the freshman and his teammates knew he had what it would take to join the NBA. He left college, with his coach’s support, and he became part of the top three picks in the NBA for 2003. He was selected by the much beleaguered Denver Nuggets. Once again, this time he went even further than his college team and brought the Nuggets to the playoffs, and later that year helped the U.S. win a bronze medal in the Olympics.
More change would come in Anthony’s life. His behavior on and off the court started leading to his reputation as being “thug like,” and he knew that he quickly had to change his ways.
In 2008, the U.S. Olympic team would win a gold medal at the Beijing games redeeming themselves from the previous Olympics. When it came to playing in the U.S., the Nuggets went through turnover after turnover with coaches. After eight years with the Nuggets, Anthony was traded for the Knicks.
If there was anyone to help mellow Anthony out during that transition to the Knicks, it was Alani “La La” Vasquez, his girlfriend since 2004. In 2007, the couple welcomed their only child, son Kiyan and by 2010 the couple had married shortly before the trade announcement. In 2011, the Knicks made it to the playoffs and Anthony tied his postseason personal high of 42 points. Now, Anthony is playing for the team that he grew up watching during his childhood.
More Carmelo Fun Facts…
♥He owns a Soccer Team in Puerto Rico
♠He holds the record for the most points ever scored in the Madison Square Garden by any player in history. This game was in 2014 and he managed to get a whopping 62 points!
♣Carmelo and his Puerto Rican dad share the same first name. His dad also sadly passed away when Melo was only 2 years old, and the passing was due to cancer
♥He was cut from his high school team as a freshman.
♦He bought a pet camel.
♣He’s afraid of cats.
♠He listens to Willie Colon every day.
♥His father, Carmelo Iriarte, was a member of the Young Lords.
♦He won the Big East Rookie of the Year Award 10 times surpassing Allen Iverson even though he was in college for one
♠He became the sixth youngest and the 40th player to score 20,000 points in his career this year
♦He was on the cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine