New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony runs the camp and made an appearance to the delight of the participants and parents over the weekend during basketball drills, games and activities.
While formerly held at St. John’s University on Union Boulevard, the camp had their first basketball seminar at Queens College to make use of additional space.
“It’s a little more intimate, there’s a lot more courts; St. John’s was separated into two gyms, but this one was all in one gym,” Anthony said. “I like to be in an intimate setting with my campers, laugh and joke with them [and] show some personality with them, because this is a moment they will never forget.”
Camp Melo is open to boys and girls in 1st through 12th grades and coaches and trainers from local colleges and basketball programs.
After a morning of drills, kids formed into teams and faced off in a tournament.
The program, with a $249 price tag per member, ran on Sat., Aug. 3 and Sun., Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and featured two sessions for different age groups. It is sponsored by Welch’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, ProCamp and others.
“I never had a camp. I’ve never been able to go to a camp,” Anthony reminisced about his childhood growing up in Brooklyn. “[Running the camp] comes easy to me. It’s something that I want to do.”
Each participant received Anthony’s autograph, a team photo, a ProCamp T-shirt, a camper goodie bag and the opportunity to win additional prizes.
Anthony Small, a Camp Melo participant, said he had fun and enjoyed the camp, especially when Anthony finally arrived.
When asked about what he thought about his day at Camp Melo, Small said, “It was a lot of fun.”
“[The best part about being here] is just seeing how happy the kids are,” Anthony added. “When I walked in you could see the excitement, you could feel the energy from the parents and from the kids.”
After each team took a photo with Anthony, several participants had the opportunity to ask the All-Star questions.
“I think it’s more than just a basketball camp,” he said. “[The kids] get to look forward to doing something in the summer time. Nowadays, it’s hard to get kids out of the house because of video games and technology.”