Syracuse Basketball: Melo, King James cheer on as 4-star sons square off

Syracuse basketball, Kiyan Anthony (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Kiyan Anthony (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

With Syracuse basketball legend Carmelo Anthony and NBA superstar LeBron James in attendance, the two dear friends watched as their four-star sons did battle in a nationally televised high-school encounter on the west coast.

First and foremost, writing this story makes me feel really old. I had graduated from Syracuse University prior to Melo stepping foot on the ‘Cuse campus, where he would lead the Orange to the program’s first and only national title in the 2002-03 season.

And as we’ve detailed in numerous columns lately, the ‘Cuse coaching staff recently offered a scholarship to Melo’s son, 2025 four-star shooting guard Kiyan Anthony.

The 6-foot-3 Anthony, a sophomore at the famed Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, N.Y., likely has a long way to go in his recruiting process. At the same time, I would anticipate that the Orange will be a serious contender in his recruitment.

Syracuse basketball fans are eagerly monitoring the recruiting process of Kiyan Anthony, a top-65 national prospect.

On Monday night, top-25 teams Christ the King and the Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif., squared off on Sierra Canyon’s home court.

ESPN2 televised this contest. Sierra Canyon outlasted Christ the King, 62-51, according to various media reports, including an article from Jordan Divens, the national basketball editor at MaxPreps.

Anthony connected on a 3-pointer and finished with eight points, per Divens.

A standout for Sierra Canyon is LeBron James’ son, 2023 four-star guard Bronny James. The 6-foot-3 James, a top-50 player in the senior class who has yet to announce a college decision, put forth a couple of entertaining dunks. He had 12 points.

There’s an awesome photo that Melo posted on Twitter of him, Kiyan, LeBron, Bronny and King James’ other son, 2025 shooting guard Bryce James, who also plays for Sierra Canyon.

According to reports, there were numerous celebrities and famous athletes in attendance for this game, such as NBA legend Scottie Pippen.

Also in attendance was iconic high-school basketball coach Steve Smith. He retired following the 2021-22 season after leading the powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for 37 years.

In 2021-22, Smith was the head coach of current Syracuse basketball point guard Judah Mintz, who was a star senior for the Warriors a stanza ago.

But if we’re taking a trip down memory lane here, Smith also coached Carmelo Anthony at Oak Hill before Melo joined the Orange. In fact, in February of 2002, Melo and Oak Hill competed versus King James and St. Vincent–St. Mary High School out of Akron, Ohio.

Oak Hill beat St. Vincent–St. Mary, 72-66, according to a story from ESPN’s Brianna Williams. LeBron James tallied 36 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six steals. Anthony produced 34 points to go along with 11 rebounds and two assists.

Fast-forward about 20 years later, and here we are, with LeBron and Carmelo watching their sons play against one another. What’s more, Melo’s son is a Syracuse basketball recruiting target.

What great fun. But like I already said, this column makes me feel really, really old.

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