By: Mallory Colón
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and his charity held an event in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday, August 10 to open a new basketball court for children in the community.
Anthony took a moment on Sunday to speak to everyone at the event he called ‘A Very Melo Weekend,’ saying, “I want to thank the community for having brought me here again to do something positive for the kids and the community.”
This is the fifth basketball court Anthony has either built or refurbished on the island since 2010. He has also built courts in Brooklyn, New York where he was born, and started the program Courts 4 Kids in Baltimore, Maryland where he was raised.
“[When I was a kid], basketball gave me hope. It gave me a way out. So it’s a no-brainer to be able to give them that,” Anthony told Latina Magazine when asked about why giving back to the children in these communities is important to him.
Through his charity, the two-time Olympic gold medalist has opened community basketball courts in the San Juan district of La Perla, the northern coastal town of Luquillo, Magnolia Gardens in Bayamon, as well as a court in Extension Ciudad del Lago in Trujillo Alto, a city in the San Juan metro area.
Anthony was accompanied on the island by Knicks teammates J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway J.R., Shane Larkin, and rookie Cleanthony Early and participated in a series of events including a golf tournament at Bahia Beach Golf Course.
This isn’t the first time Anthony has expressed how close Puerto Rico is to his heart. In fact, the 30-year-old spent years uncovering his late father’s involvement with the Puerto Rican civil rights group known as ‘the Young Lords,’ and is set to release a documentary about his journey in the near future.
“I shot it with [Young Lords Party co-founder] Felipe Luciano. This is something I really want to bring awareness to,” Anthony said.
The documentary entitled ‘Looking for a Lord’ is being developed through Krossover Productions, which Anthony co-owns with wife and fellow Boricua LaLa Anthony.
Mallory Colón is a 23-year-old Nuyorican woman, born and raised in El Barrio. She’s a lover of basketball and animals and is on a journey of self-discovery.