Kiyan Anthony, the son of former Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks NBA star Carmelo Anthony, is starting to look toward a future playing basketball like his dad.
It's not surprising to see the child of an athlete pursue a career in sports, and it seems like it's almost always the sport that their parent played. However, Kiyan, who's not only the son of Carmelo but also actress La La Anthony, more recently took a noticeable interest in basketball over the past year.
The Overtime YouTube channel has started a six-part docuseries titled "The Evolution," Kiyan is the main subject in the show that premieres this Saturday.
"The NBA wasn't in the picture [a year ago] because I didn't know how good I was and I didn't know how good I was going to be," Kiyan told The New York Post in a phone interview.
"The NBA wasn?t in the picture [a year ago] because I didn?t know?how good I was going to be.
"This past year I took a big leap and now I feel like I can compete with the best in the country"
?? Kiyan Anthony https://t.co/JUnP45sKEY
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) July 28, 2023
Carmelo did what every parent, especially a former athlete, should do. He didn't force basketball on Kiyan but said he'd be there to nurture that dream if he wanted to pursue it.
"Once I started going to work out and play with my AAU team, I realized, 'Oh, this is actually fun,'" Kiyan said.
"When I got to high school, I didn't think I was really good, but this past year I took a big leap and now I feel like I can compete with the best in the country," Kiyan continued.
Kiyan, 16, plays on Long Island Lutheran High School in New York and Team Melo, his dad's EYBL (similar to AAU) team.
Carmelo played in the NBA starting in 2003 and retired after last season. He played for the Nuggets, Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers, and Los Angeles Lakers. Over his two-decade career, it's no secret that he was on the road half of the basketball season, but since retiring, he spends each day with Kiyan, helping him get better.
"I feel like a father now," Carmelo told The New York Post.
"I feel like an everyday father — somebody who's there, waking up with you, I get to plot and plan and strategize the way parents do with their kids, and not doing it from afar, in another city, in a hotel. I can really guide him now. I'm more excited about that than anything."
Where Will Kiyan Anthony Play in College?
How can we measure Kiyan's progress? A year ago, he wasn't in the top 100 players for the 2025 class, but now he's in the top 50 and the top-rated player in New York. He has college offers from Indiana, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Memphis, Tennessee, Michigan, Florida State, and Syracuse, where his dad won a national championship.
"If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said I wanted to go to D-1. I had an offer from Memphis then, but I feel like it wasn't really genuine, because going out there against competition, I didn't feel like I could really keep up a year ago," Kiyan said.
"I really developed. Now I see myself guarding the best players on the other team and going at them on offense. Before I would have relied on someone else on my team to do that."
What does the elder Melo have to say about his son's growth in the sport? He says it's because of "patience" and "believing in the process."
"Things are all starting to come together for him and formulate the way we had a plan for him," Carmelo said.
"Now he has his confidence, and he's playing against bigger and stronger guys, and he's playing very well. At this age it's all about how you feel as a young man — your confidence and mentality — and I've seen those rise the past 5-6 months."
While Kiyan has all of these offers, there are alternatives unlike when his dad played for Syracuse in the early 2000s. Today, there's Overtime Elite and the G League. These leagues produced the No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 overall draft picks (Scoot Henderson, Amen Thompson, and Ausar Thompson) in the 2023 NBA Draft. Not only are these leagues available, but Carmelo is an investor in Overtime.
We might know Overtime primarily for basketball, but it also sports 3 million subscribers on YouTube, a helmet-less football league, and boxing.
Kiyan Anthony ? Drake
(via lala/IG) pic.twitter.com/jWL6XXrEw7
— Overtime (@overtime) July 27, 2023
Despite these other options, Kiyan plans to go to college, but the conversations, according to his dad, are ongoing.
"I still want him to go through the process of being recruited and what that's like as a kid. I want him to experience that," Carmelo said.
"As far as the schools go, I tell him, 'This is a decision that you make. I'm not putting any pressure on you to go to one school. What I'll do is when you want to sit down and go through these things, I'll give you the pros and cons of each situation and my perspective on what situation I think fits your style of game.
"After that, you make your own decision, and as a father, I'll be proud of the decision that you make.'"
What should viewers take away from the Overtime series? Kiyan says, "I just hope that they're able to see the other side of my life — not just basketball, because I feel that's all people see of me in the media, so I just want everybody to see me for who I really am."
Echoing his sentiments, Carmelo says, "I want people to understand what kind of kid my son is. He's still a kid. He's only 16 years old. He's still going through things as a teenager as a young man and trying to figure life out, so I want people to see his personality and who he is — the kid that I see every single day."
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