NBA veteran and Brooklyn, New York, native Carmelo Anthony made some off-court news Friday, sharing where his son, Kiyan, plans to go high school — Christ the King High School in Queens, a borough of New York City. For basketball fans, the news about where Kiyan plans to go made noise because of the school’s associations with basketball history through its alumni.
Never thought this day would come so soon! Next chapter. Proud of you. pic.twitter.com/qzxrwWcqnF
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) February 13, 2021
Reactions in the social media landscape spread rapidly, including to former NBA player-turned-influencer Rex Chapman and Grammy nominee DrewsThatDude, but basketball royalty celebrated when WNBA star Sue Bird — a fellow Christ the King grad — weighed in and took a short trip down memory lane:
Welcome to the Royal family 🦁
(😂👇🏼) https://t.co/Znpep8IlRL pic.twitter.com/DfglcoJCgz
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) February 13, 2021
You’ll find the school’s former alums making history on basketball courts across the country. Among those who have played as boys for Christ the King, Speedy Claxton was the 20th overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft and won an NBA title with the Spurs in 2003. Lamar Odom won titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, and he was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2011. Other NBA players with Christ the King roots include Khalid Reeves, Derrick Phelps and Erick Barkley.
But the program might have even greater stature as a basketball mecca for girls. Last year, ESPN named it the best high school ever for women’s basketball.
Bird’s achievements are already legendary. She won NCAA titles with UConn in 2000 and 2002, earning her place as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft, and then won four WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020). She also won four Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) with Team USA.
Other notable alumnae include Chamique Holdsclaw and Tina Charles. Holdsclaw won NCAA titles at Tennessee in 1996, ’97 and ’98, was the first overall selection in the 1999 WNBA draft and earned her own Olympic gold in 2000. Charles won NCAA titles at UConn in 2009 and 2010, was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft and earned Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016.
Mechelle Voepel contributed to this story.