Camp Melo 2009
As the chant of “Melo, Melo, Melo” echoed through the gym, Carmelo Anthony walked onto the court.
No, this wasn’t on the stage of the Western Conference Finals but rather 450 screaming young basketball players at the fifth annual TAG Camp Melo at the Gold Crown Fieldhouse this week.
“Doing this is easy,” Melo said with his trademark smile as he was being serenaded by the young energetic campers at his camp in Lakewood. “It’s good. It’s always good to get out here with the kids.”
One of the 450 campers was 13-year-old Kaleigh (kuh-lay) Paplow, a seventh grade basketball player from Thornton, Colorado. An avid, Nuggets fan as well, said it was “pretty cool” and “very inspirational” to be able to participate in a camp run by her favorite NBA player. So much so that the number she wears for her basketball team, the Brighton Lady Dawgs, is none other than Anthony’s “15.” In attending the camp, Paplow was hoping to improve her ballhandling skills as well as her shooting stroke with the assistance of 25 of Denver’s top prep basketball coaches working the event. Paplow will be taking her skills learned from the camp abroad as she will move to Australia with her mother and brother later this summer for the year.
This year's three-day camp consisted of three morning sessions for kids ages 7-11 and three afternoon sessions for kids 12-18. The experience focuses on the fundamentals of basketball skills, drills and games. With the help of the Family Resource Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver several underprivileged kids were granted the opportunity to attend this year’s camp.
Anthony has had a busy summer having just returned from a trip to Spain, hosting a celebration to promote the “Melo Out” campaign to help raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, starting to workout in preparation for the upcoming 2009-10 season with the Nuggets and, of course, his role as a camp counselor -- a role that the 450 No. 15's in attendance hope that he continues for years to come.
For more information on Carmelo Anthony and his camp, visit the Nuggets section at www.DenverPost.com.