Carmelo Anthony never had the opportunity to attend a basketball camp as a youngster. The Brooklyn native never had the chance to pose for a picture with a famous athlete during his youth.
Now, the six-time All-Star is using his elite status to give back to the community by hosting a series of basketball camps along with leading several charity initiatives over the summer.
“It comes easy to me, it’s something that I want to do, I’m not forced to do it and it’s just easy for me,” Anthony explained the importance of his involvement in his basketball camp that took place in Queens over the weekend.
Fresh off a trip to China, Anthony discussed his health and approach to training over the summer. The reigning NBA scoring champion confirmed his shoulder is 100 percent after some much needed rest this offseason.
“I get in the gym and try to perfect my craft, what I do best,” Anthony articulated. “You know, right after the season I sit down and look at film and me and my trainers try to figure out and recap the past season and go from there. I really don’t focus in on one particular thing because at this point and time in my career my game is pretty much set, so it’s pretty much just enhancing everything that I have right now.”
At this time last year, Anthony and Team USA was on the road to a Gold Medal at the Summer Olympics. The two-time gold medalist reached his peak physical form following the successful trip across the pond. This summer, Anthony feels even stronger as he gears up for the 2013-14 season.
“I think I’m in better shape,” Anthony stated. “I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I’ve been working, I’ve been training, so at this point and time I feel like I’m in that USA shape.”
While Anthony was traveling all over the world, his squad made notable moves throughout the free agency period. When asked about his new teammate from Queens, Anthony instantly smiled.
“It’s hard for me to call him Metta,” Anthony laughed. He added, “To have him on our team now brings more toughness, adds some more toughness to our team, a more defensive presence. He can also be a threat on the offensive end, so you have to respect that.”
Anthony will also join forces with former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani. While it’s yet to be determined if Bargnani will start alongside Anthony or provide a jolt off the bench, the Knicks leading scorer believes the team snatched a big-time asset.
“With Bargnani, I told you from day one I think that was pretty much a steal. I hate to lose [Steve] Novak and [Marcus] Camby but if you get something like that back in return, it’s kind of a win-win situation,“ Anthony maintained.
New York’s prolific scorer is expecting the Italian to take advantage of his new location, “Hopefully Bargnani wants to come here and prove something, come in here with a chip on his shoulder and be ready to rock.”
In just a couple of months, Anthony will direct his focus back to the hardwood at the Knicks training camp. For now, he is truly enjoying the time at his basketball camp, giving back to the community, and providing lasting memories for the kids in attendance, a memory he was unable to attain during his childhood.