Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Proud To Be Orange

Every once and a while you read about a professional athlete making the news for something other than what they do on the field of play. Too often those news stories are about athletes who have used poor judgment and got into trouble with the law. Today when I read my monthly Orangebytes Newsletter from Syracuse University I learned about something Carmelo Anthony has done "off the court". Carmelo, as you may or may not recall, helped lead the Orange to the NCAA Basketball National Championship in 2003. He had some impressive stats that year. I pulled these from the SU Athletics web site:
  • He led Syracuse to a 30-5 overall record and the National Championship.
  • He was named second team All-America by the Associated Press and was a consensus pick for National Freshman of the Year.
  • He was a unanimous selection for BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year and was first-team all-league as well.
  • He was BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Week a record 10 times during the course of the campaign.
  • He averaged 22.2 points (16th in NCAA Division I, 4th in Big East) and 10.0 rebounds (19th in NCAA Division I, 3rd in Big East).
  • He posted 22 double-doubles and led the Orange in scoring in 24 of 35 games.
  • He led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played (36.4 mpg), field goals made and attempted and free throws made and attempted.
  • Anthony was second on the club to fellow freshman Gerry McNamara in assists (2.2 apg) and steals (1.57 spg) and in three-pointers made and attempted.
But the stats that I now think are the most impressive are these:
  • He only played on year of college basketball at Syracuse, and
  • He has committed to donating $3 million back to the school
He's giving $3 million dollars to the school. He was only there for his freshman year before being drafted into the NBA by the Denver Nuggets. One year. One National Championship. $3 Million back to say thanks. $3 million to help the school that helped him out. I'm sure other athletes have given money to their schools, but I don't ever remember hearing someone give this much back. It is impressive to me.

I am used to hearing about business owners who have achieved financial success giving huge donations and having buildings named after them, but cannot remember a donation of this size from someone who made their success as an athlete.

I cannot say enough about my years at Syracuse. It was an invaluable experience for me. I am proud to say I have my BFA in Advertising Design from the College of Visual & Performing Arts at SU. And I am thrilled to be able to share this news about a Syracuse University athlete giving back.

Keep up the good work Carmelo and Go Orange!


Anonymous said...

It's tough to tell a relatively poor person to turn down a multi-million dollar contract. So Mellow's move to the NBA was understandable. His syracuse donation is very honorable.

It's a shame there isn't more incentive for highly talented college athletes to stay in school and complete their degrees.

dhduff said...

You're absolutely right that you can't find fault with a young kid who comes from a relatively poor background accepting a contract for millions. I also agree that there should be more incentive for them to stay in school.

Some might say paying college athletes is the answer. I don't know about that. If someone can figure it out... please share.