DENVER -- Carmelo Anthony looked like a freshman back on
Sitting next to his former coach, Jim Boeheim, and sporting a
Syracuse University baseball cap turned backward and an orange
T-shirt on Tuesday, the Denver Nuggets star forward committed $3
million to his old school for a new basketball practice facility.
The gymnasium will be named after Anthony, who led the Orangemen
to the 2003 national title before bolting to the NBA after his one
season in college.
"It's what I wanted to do," Anthony said. "The whole city
took me in like I was a Syracuse native."
Boeheim and athletic director Dr. Daryl Gross flew in for the
announcement at the Pepsi Center. Gross said the project will get
under way soon.
"This is very, very significant," Gross said. "We're so proud
of him that someone can have this kind of character and make [this]
The new building will include two practice courts, men's and
women's locker rooms and offices.
Anthony's gift is one of the largest individual donations to
Syracuse needed new digs, but Boeheim was reluctant to solicit
Anthony's help in the multimillion dollar project.
"I brought in the real closer," Boeheim said -- his wife, Juli,
who quickly persuaded 'Melo to help out.
Anthony averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds in leading Syracuse
to a 30-5 record and a win over Kansas in the championship game.
"The six months I was there I had a great time," Anthony said.
Boeheim got to work with Anthony again last summer as an
assistant U.S. coach during the world championships in Japan, where
the Americans took the bronze. They hope to team up again at the
"We need to change the color of the medal we won," Boeheim