Melo visits Puerto Rico to unveil charity efforts

Associated Press Modified: September 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm •  Published: September 13, 2012

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Carmelo Anthony is in Puerto Rico to unveil remodeled basketball courts at a public housing complex and play a bit of softball with celebrity friends.

It is the third time the New York Knicks star has visited the U.S. territory in as many years to rebuild basketball courts through his charitable foundation.

"There's plenty of kids down there who need role models," he said during a press conference Thursday. "I grew up in a situation like that. ... It was survival of the fittest."

The two newly remodeled courts, located in the northern city of Bayamon, are used by the island's top minor league players and have produced players now part of the island's Superior League, said Sports and Recreation Secretary Henry Neumann.

"It is an emblematic court," he said.

About 350 children currently use the two courts, which are within the Magnolia Gardens public housing complex. They will be unveiled on Sunday.

Last year, Anthony and his foundation restored a basketball court in the northern coastal town of Luquillo, and in 2010, they refurbished a popular court in La Perla, a famous seaside slum in historic Old San Juan.

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