MANILA — (UPDATED) Ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony has been named as one of the global ambassadors of FIBA World Cup 2023.
This was formally announced on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
“It’s a full circle. I’ve been part of FIBA basketball since early 2000. Coming back full circle now and be ambassador for the FIBA World Cup is definitely an honor, a blessing. It’s been a long time coming,” the power forward said.
“For me, it’s just about building nations together, people together to one common thing: Basketball.”
The NBA veteran, who arrived in Manila late Wednesday, joined international basketball icons Pau Gasol of Spain and Luis Scola of Argentina as FIBA World Cup ambassadors.
Anthony also noted that basketball is a beloved sport in the Philippines.
“(Basketball has) always been talked about, the one of the few opportunities you have in sport, you don’t see that much outside of America. That’s why there’s a bigger connection when it comes to the Philippines and American basketball,” he said.
Anthony, who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2003, is regarded as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. He suited up for the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets and LA Lakers.
In 2018, he became the 21st player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. At the time, he was one of three active players, along with LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki, who have reached the mark.
He was a member of the US men’s Olympic basketball teams that won gold medals in 2008, 2012, and 2016. He was also part of the bronze medal winning Olympic team, making him the most-decorated American men’s Olympic basketball player of all time.
He is a two-time US Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2006 and 2016) and was named named to the five-man 2006 FIBA World Championship All-Tournament Team.
His inclusion among FIBA’s global ambassadors was announced on the same day Gilas Pilipinas is playing against Lebanon in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
“I do think FIBA World Cup is one of the biggest, toughest competitions out there. When you’re thinking about FIBA World Cup basketball, you really have to bring it, you play it for the country, you play it with a different sense pride, different sense of energy and mindset. Other events you have many sports surrounding it, this one’s mainly basketball,” said Anthony.