Carmelo Anthony's jersey retired at halftime

Ten years after winning the 2003 national championship, Syracuse retired Carmelo Anthony's No. 15 jersey.

Carmelo Anthony didn't know the meaning of "bleeding Orange" until he saw SU head coach Jim Boeheim sitting on his front step after Anthony walked got home from school. 

"At that moment, something clicked," Anthony said.

Ten years after winning the 2003 NCAA men's basketball championship, SU retired Carmelo Anthony's No. 15 jersey in front of a record 35,012 fans during SU's loss to Georgetown Saturday. Anthony stood at the center of Jim Boeheim court with his family and former teammates, and hoisted up the frame containing his jersey.

Photo: Taylor Baucom
Syracuse retired star player Carmelo Anthony's No. 15 jersey during halftime in Saturday's game against Georgetown.

Highlights from Saturday's Carmelo celebration

"I look up in the rafters and my jersey's being retired right next to that '03 national championship banner," Anthony said. "I will never forget this day and this moment."

Anthony became the tenth SU player to have his jersey retired. His No. 15 jersey hangs in the rafters with other Syracuse legends such as David Bing, Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, and Dwayne Washington.

Although he stayed at Syracuse for only one year, it was a year Anthony said he would never forget. "I've learned so much from that year," he said. 

Anthony helped lead Syracuse to its only national championship in 2003. He also lead the lead in scoring with 22.2 points per game, and rebounding with 10 per game. But his fame didn't end at Syracuse. Drafted with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, Anthony became an instant superstar for the Denver Nuggets for nine seasons. He was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011, and has won two gold medals in 2008 and 2012, both with Boeheim as the assistant coach to Mike Krzyzewski.

"I'm happy for him," head coach Jim Boeheim said. "He's been so important for us in terms of what he did here and how he helped us raise money. It was great for him to come back here and get that done."

The legacy of Anthony continued at Syracuse even before SU retired his jersey. Anthony donated $3 million to help with the construction of the Carmelo K. Anthony Center. This facility, Boeheim said, has not only helped with his current team, but also with recruiting players. 

Anthony now knows what it means to "bleed Orange," and he knows his legacy will live on at Syracuse for years to come.

Said Anthony: "I will always cherish this moment."

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