Carmelo Anthony to Join Ownership Group of Future Australian NBL Team

The National Basketball League (NBL), the premier men’s professional basketball league in Australia and New Zealand, is thrilled to announce NBA legend Carmelo Anthony as the Global Ambassador of its innovative Next Stars program. This exciting appointment also includes Anthony joining the ownership group of a future NBL expansion team, adding ‘team owner’ to his illustrious list of career achievements on and off the court.

Founded in 1979, the NBL has grown to become a significant force in the basketball world. Recently, the league appointed sports commentator and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith as its Head of Next Stars Player Initiatives in North America, further enhancing its commitment to developing top-tier basketball talent.

The Next Stars program, which began in the 2018-19 season, has quickly established itself as a premier destination for draft-eligible talent from around the globe. Designed to fast-track players’ development, the program has successfully seen eight Next Stars drafted into the NBA. Notable first-round picks include LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton, Josh Giddey, and Ousmane Dieng.

The 2023-24 Next Stars class is the largest in NBL history, featuring eight players from countries such as Australia, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, France, and the United States. Among these players, French phenom Alexandre Sarr of the Perth Wildcats is projected to be a Top 3 selection in the upcoming NBA Draft.

“In joining the NBL, I’m excited for the opportunity to not just elevate basketball in Australia, but to impact the global landscape of the sport,” said Anthony. “The recent pipeline of talent that has come out of the NBL and into the NBA has been extremely impressive, and the Next Stars program is a prime example of the league’s commitment to nurturing talent and cultivating elite players. I look forward to working with the League to help play a role in shaping the future of basketball worldwide.”

Anthony will focus on attracting and mentoring top-tier players from around the world, elevating the Next Stars program to new heights. As a sports icon and entrepreneur, he brings unparalleled experience and expertise to the NBL, positioning the league to explore bold new territories.

“Our track record speaks for itself, and the Next Stars program is where more and more future NBA stars are developed,” said NBL Director and Board Member Nikola Milivojevic. “As a master of his craft and legend of the game, Carmelo is the ideal mentor for our Next Stars and the perfect partner for the NBL as we chart a path forward. This involves launching more new NBA stars, gaining new audiences, exploring new markets, and making an indelible mark globally for future generations. Now with Carmelo on board, along with Kenny Smith, we will take it to a whole new level.”

Larry Kestelman, Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL, added, “Carmelo’s commitment to nurturing young talent and promoting the game aligns perfectly with our vision for the Next Stars program. Together, we will continue to raise the profile of Australian basketball on the global stage, reinforcing that the NBL is the best domestic league in the world outside of the NBA. We welcome Carmelo to the NBL family.”

With Carmelo Anthony’s involvement, the NBL’s Next Stars program is set to reach unprecedented heights, further solidifying its reputation as a breeding ground for future NBA talent. The collaboration promises to enhance the global appeal of the league and provide young athletes with unparalleled opportunities to grow and succeed in the world of professional basketball.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *