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Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Nuggets' Anthony donates $3M for new Syracuse gym

Associated Press

DENVER -- Carmelo Anthony looked like a freshman back on campus.

 Carmelo Anthony
Anthony

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] happen."

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 athletics.

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 2008 Olympics.

"We need to change the color of the medal we won," Boeheim said.