La La Anthony

What You Didn’t Know about Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York to an African American mother, Mary and Puerto Rican father who he is named after. He is the youngest of four and before his third birthday his father passed away , leaving Mary a struggling single mother.

While his mother worked as a housekeeper, his much older siblings helped to raise him as they lived in the projects of Red Hook. To pass the time, Anthony would watch hours of March Madness and NBA Playoff games.

After the passing of his father, his life would go on to change more once his siblings went on their own paths and left home. This time around, Mary had to take care of Anthony on her own and she moved her son to Baltimore when he was eight. What she didn’t know was that the area called the “The Pharmacy,” was plagued by drugs, prostitution and crime.

To keep her son away from trouble she threatened to keep him off the basketball court if he didn’t behave. This incentive would later help him in his high school, college and NBA career as a basketball player. By 1999, the high school sophomore from Towson Catholic High School was becoming one of the best ball players in the Baltimore area.

Although he was 6’5″, Anthony and his mother knew he wasn’t ready for the big leagues of basketball yet.  To keep from slipping with grades in school, Anthony later attended the strict Oak Hill Academy, and worked out more so that he would go from a skinny high school basketball player to become a possible division one college prospect. By the time he graduated he went to Syracuse University where he shined by helping the team out of a slump to become a winning streak that led to the Big East Tournament semifinals.

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From this point, the freshman and his teammates knew he had what it would take to join the NBA. He left college, with his coach’s support, and he became part of the top three picks in the NBA for 2003. He was selected by the much beleaguered Denver Nuggets. Once again, this time he went even further than his college team and brought the Nuggets to the playoffs, and later that year helped the U.S. win a bronze medal in the Olympics.

More change would come in Anthony’s life. His behavior on and off the court started leading to his reputation as being “thug like,” and he knew that he quickly had to change his ways.

In 2008, the U.S. Olympic team would win a gold medal at the Beijing games redeeming themselves from the previous Olympics. When it came to playing in the U.S., the Nuggets went through turnover after turnover with coaches. After eight years with the Nuggets, Anthony was traded for the Knicks.

If there was anyone to help mellow Anthony out during that transition to the Knicks, it was Alani “La La” Vasquez, his girlfriend since 2004. In 2007, the couple welcomed their only child, son Kiyan and by 2010 the couple had married shortly before the trade announcement. In 2011, the Knicks made it to the playoffs and Anthony tied his postseason personal high of 42 points. Now, Anthony is playing for the team that he grew up watching during his childhood.

 

More Carmelo Fun Facts…

He owns a Soccer Team in Puerto Rico
♠He holds the record for the most points ever scored in the Madison Square Garden by any player in history. This game was in 2014 and he managed to get a whopping 62 points!

♣Carmelo and his Puerto Rican dad share the same first name. His dad also sadly passed away when Melo was only 2 years old, and the passing was due to cancer

♥He was cut from his high school team as a freshman.

♦He bought a pet camel.

♣He’s afraid of cats.

♠He listens to Willie Colon every day.

♥His father, Carmelo Iriarte, was a member of the Young Lords.

♦He won the Big East Rookie of the Year Award 10 times surpassing Allen Iverson even though he was in college for one

♠He became the sixth youngest and the 40th player to score 20,000 points in his career this year

♦He was on the cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine

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Throwback: Catching Up with La La Anthony Cover Story

Catching Up with La La Anthony

By Jahaira Hooker

Star of VH1’s La La’s Full Court Life, La La Anthony is an actress, mother, entrepreneur, and the wife of Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. She has sustained a very successful career working her way up from an early age. One wonders how she balances a high-profile marriage and motherhood along with her many tireless projects, but she seems to have it all together, and we couldn’t be more proud of this Latina and all of her achievements.

 

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This article was originally published in July/August 2014 cover / issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

You strike me as grounded, authentic, and kind. How do you maintain those qualities? And manage to balance it all?
I think it’s because I know what it’s like to not have, and I really worked hard to get to where I am. I did everything on my own; started really young when I was in high school working on the radio. I think that is what has helped me to remain grounded and humble.

 

You are hard working. Does this come naturally, or do you attribute it to the Influences of your Latino culture?
Yes, definitely! When you say I come across as genuine and down-to-earth, this is from growing up in a Spanish household—it’s all about family. On any given day, you can find all my titis and tios at the house, and we are all together as a family. We had each other, and we had love, and that’s really important to me. You find that a lot in the Latin community.

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Where did you grow up, and what is your most memorable experience growing up?
I grew up in New York City and, by the time I was in middle school, I moved to New Jersey. By high school I had moved to Atlanta, so I moved around quite a bit. Some of my best memories in New York are of the summers just being outside BBQ-ing with family, loud music and having fun.

 

Your cosmetic line, MOTIVES by La La, launched back in February of 2012. What could you tell me about MOTIVES today?
MOTIVES is doing great! MOTIVES was already a makeup line that was created by my friend. I told her she needed to expand the brand to add more colors specifically for Hispanics and African-American women. I saw there was a void with my own personal experience shopping and having to mix up to four colors at times, just to create the right shade. So, I was happy when the opportunity came to work with Loren [Ridinger, Creative Director and Founder] to create MOTIVES by La La, essentially providing something for everybody, which is what makes the brand so popular today.

 

Who is the ‘MOTIVES’ woman?
The motives woman is confident. She could be a mom, a wife, a working woman… She comes in all forms. She knows what she likes, and wants to look good doing so. At the time of this interview La La was on her way to the airport headed to L.A. to promote an early screening of her new film ‘Think Like a Man Too.”

 

You are currently busy promoting, Think Like a Man Too, in theaters June 20th. How excited are you?
Obviously, I am very excited! This is the sequel to Think Like a Man, and it takes place in Vegas. It’s a battle of the sexes to see who could “do Vegas” better ‒guys vs. girls,‒ and all sorts of things happen while there. It’s a movie that will have you laughing the entire two hours.

 

Can we expect more films from you in the future? 
Actually, I am also on a new television series called Power ‒that’s on the Starz network right now‒ with rapper 50 Cent [Curtis Jackson,] who is the executive producer. It just premiered its first season, and we already got picked up for a second, so there’s definitely a lot more to come from that.

 

Here at LatinTRENDS we love watching La La’s Full Court Life, now in its 5th season. Can we look forward to a 6th?
I don’t think so. It has been a great ride, and it has done so well, but I have so many other projects going on that I just don’t have that much time. Plus, it’s always good to go out with a bang. You don’t want to go out when you can’t give people anymore. You want to go out on top.

 

Moving on to The Love Playbook, did you enjoy the process of writing your own book?
I definitely enjoyed it, and I was so happy when it went #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s great to be able to reach out and inspire. You start talking to young women, and a lot of them don’t have great friends and family to talk to and guide them. That was what pushed me to write the book, and now it is doing so well. People who are so grateful and appreciative stop me constantly because of it. It has been a really great experience. Update: The sequel to the love playbook is currently being made into a movie with La La and Queen Latifa as producers.

 

Will there be a follow up book?
Definitely going to have a follow up, and the next thing I’m doing with that actual book is turning it into to a movie. I feel like it can be a great film, but yeah, definitely a follow-up book.

(This article was originally published in July/August 2014 cover / issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine)