Saturday, April 14, 2012
Updated: April 15, 4:56 AM ET
Carmelo Anthony hosts Martin family
By Jared Zwerling
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, 21, were in New York City on Thursday for an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, not thinking they were going to visit Madison Square Garden the following day.
But New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony had an invitation awaiting the family, including Martin's younger brother who is 3½ years old.
Anthony met privately with the family in the Knicks' locker room and posed for pictures before New York's 103-65 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. Fearing additional media attention, the family did not stay for the game.
"[It was] a blessing, an honor," Anthony said after Knicks practice Saturday, in regards to meeting Martin's family. "We all know the tragedy that happened, and just to get in a different space of mind right now, just bringing them to not even the game, but to the locker room in the back, meeting all the players, meeting the coaches, that was the easy part. We had no media there. It was just something that I wanted to do."
Martin, 17, was fatally shot Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.
Anthony's sister, Michelle, died from a pre-existing medical condition in December 2010. He now remembers her while he's playing by having her name stitched on his sneakers.
"I lost my sister last year," Anthony said, "so I know what it feels like, even with his little brother. He didn't even want to come to the game, didn't even know what was going on. He wanted to go see 'The Lion King,' but just for them to be there, that meant a lot."
Anthony and other NBA players have shown support for Martin by wearing hoodies during practice and before games. That's what Martin was wearing when he was killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was charged this week with second-degree murder, but he has maintained he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self-defense.
On Thursday, a Seminole County judge found probable cause to move forward with the case and set a May 29 arraignment.
Jared Zwerling is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.