Carmelo Anthony spent his Wednesday rubbing elbows with royalty as the New York Knicks' star flew to London to visit with Prince Harry. The reception at St. James’ Palace served as a graduation to a new group of coaches involved in the Royal Foundation’s Coach Core, an initiative created by Harry, his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Duchess Kate, that helps at-risk youth realize their dreams to be professional sports coaches. The program is sponsored by both the Royal Foundation and the NBA.
Anthony helped present awards to the graduates and gave the prince his own NBA jersey emblazoned with the number 15 and Harry’s surname, “Wales,” on the back and a single orange training sneaker.
“It was an honor, man,” Anthony said. “You didn’t know what to expect. To see him and walking in the room together and the kids in there laughing and joking. It was a warm welcome from him to me. It was an honor. I never thought I’d meet the prince.
“It’s royalty. You can feel it,” he continued. “When you come to London, you can feel the royalty. To be right there in front of him, you get that energy and vibe. You get that royal feeling.”
Coach Core offers programs in London, Glasgow, Scotland, and New York that prepare disadvantaged youth to pursue careers as professional sports coaches and mentors. The program not only provides the skills necessary, but also helps graduates find employment after they’ve completed the course. The hope is that these apprentices can then go on to motivate and inspire other youth through sport.
To learn more about the initiative, click here.
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(Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)