SYRACUSE, NY -- Nov. 7 -- Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who helped lead Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, has presented the University with the lead gift for the construction of a newly planned basketball practice facility. Anthony, the captain of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, has committed $3 million toward the building.
"We are so appreciative of Carmelo’s enormously generous gift to support SU’s new planned basketball practice facility," says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "The building would be a state-of-the-art practice and training facility for our student-athletes and benefit them and our athletic programs for years to come."
"Carmelo's commitment to the Orange basketball program shows extraordinary character and respect for his experience at Syracuse," says Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. "To make this kind of contribution takes a special person, someone with passion and selflessness. It is very obvious why Carmelo Anthony is so successful on and off the court.
"The vision we have for Syracuse athletics is to make an impact on the world and to be extraordinary! Carmelo has given us all a true example of how one can make a meaningful difference. On behalf of the Syracuse athletics department and the entire Syracuse nation, thank you Carmelo Anthony."
Anthony’s gift represents one of the largest individual donations to Syracuse University Athletics and is also believed to be one of largest by a current professional athlete to the school they attended. The gift is the starting point in the fundraising plans for the multi-million dollar structure. The facility, which is still in the planning phase, would be located within the Lampe Athletic Complex on the University campus.
The planned facility would house two practice courts, locker rooms and office facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Syracuse.
Anthony’s one season with the Orange turned out to be the high point of the program’s history, culminating in the NCAA Championship. He led Syracuse to a 30-5 overall record. He was named second team all-America by the Associated Press and was a consensus pick for national freshman of the year. He was a unanimous selection for BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year and was first-team all-league as well. Anthony was BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Week a record 10 times during the course of the campaign.
He averaged 22.2 points (16th in NCAA Division I, 4th in Big East) and 10.0 rebounds (19th in NCAA Division I, 3rd in Big East). Anthony posted 22 double-doubles and led the Orange in scoring in 24 of 35 games. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played (36.4 mpg), field goals made and attempted and free throws made and attempted. Anthony was second on the club to fellow freshman Gerry McNamara in assists (2.2 apg) and steals (1.57 spg) and in three-pointers made and attempted.
The first-round draft choice and third overall pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2003, Anthony is now in his fourth season as a starter with the club. He was named NBA Rookie of the Month six times during the 2003-04 campaign and earned MVP honors at the 2004 NBA Rookie Challenge.
He is a veteran of USA Basketball international competition. This past summer he helped the USA Senior Men’s National Team to the bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. Anthony was named to the all-tournament team at the event. The USA Basketball coaching staff included Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, who was reunited with Anthony on the court for the first time since the 2003 NCAA Championship. Anthony also played on the USA squad that won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. In 2002, he played for the bronze medal-winning USA Junior World Championship Qualifying Team. Anthony was on the East Team that won the silver medal in the 2001 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival.
Anthony has been very active in the Denver community and in his native Baltimore, Md., during his time with the Nuggets. He hosts a summer basketball camp, Camp Melo, in Lakewood, Colo., for boys and girls ages 7-to-18. He also hosts an annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Melo’s H.O.O.D. (Holding Our Own Destiny) Movement 3-on-3 Challenge in Baltimore. The Challenge is for boys and girls ages 7-to-15. Anthony is a major contributor to the Family Resource Centers of Colorado.
The Carmelo Anthony Foundation was founded in 2005 to invest in programs, leaders and community organizations that empower and provide opportunities for underserved kids and families. The Foundation aims to provide educational and recreational opportunities for kids and families in Carmelo’s home communities, sponsor special projects and events and donate monies to worthy and needy causes.
Syracuse University was officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education. Its mission is to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service.