Carmelo Anthony knows what it is like to struggle.
The Portland Trail Blazers forward grew up in West Baltimore with drugs and violence in the neighborhood. His father died of cancer when he was two, leaving his mother Mary to support her family with little means to do so.
But Anthony found his safe place under the basketball hoop.
Hard work, skill and determination earned him the opportunity to commit and eventually play at Syracuse University, where he emerged as one of the best offensive talents in the game.
Now, the future NBA Hall of Famer, is using his presence to enact change. Anthony, an ambassador for Jordan Brand, helped named 32 Wings Scholars on Wednesday. Each student will receive a four-year scholarship to the university of their choice or any post-secondary education program.
Melo congratulated the 32 recipients from New York City, Chicago, Charlotte and Portland in a touching video.
«Congratulations Class of 2024 Jordan Brand scholars, welcome to the family,» Melo said.
Anthony became Jordan Brand’s first signature athlete in 2003, but has recently shifted his focus to the Wings Scholars program. In addition to his work with Jordan Brand, he established the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, which has helped support disadvantaged youth and families in need.
Earlier this year, the Trail Blazers veteran gifted a Maryland mom a new car after finding out her previous car had broken down, making it tough for her not only to commute to work, but to watch her daughter play basketball.
Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.