In 2003, a banner was raised thanks large in part to a soon-to-be Syracuse legend named Carmelo Anthony. Nearly twenty years after the Orange claimed their first NCAA championship, Anthony’s son, a four-star shooting guard according to 247Sports, was offered by SU.
So the script is written and the result is inevitable, right? Well, let’s dive into that question.
Although a former NBA player starred at a certain school, it doesn’t mean his lineage always chooses that path. Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony is the son of former NCAA champion and New York Knicks guard Greg Anthony. Greg went to Portland and UNLV, two schools that didn’t even offer Cole, a five-star soon-to-be North Carolina guard. Another example is second round NBA draft pick Pace Mannion, who headlined at Utah. His son, Nico, was a sensation fresh out of high school and among his 21 offers, Nico turned down the Utes in favor of Arizona. Here’s an odd alternative though. Current Indiana Hoosier Trayce Jackson-Davis, who asserted himself in the Dome last season, spurned Clemson, his dad Dale’s alma mater, and instead chose his father’s NBA draft city (Indiana Pacers) and his home state. It might be an outlandish correlation, but Kiyan does attend high school in New York City, and many would claim Syracuse is the premiere basketball program in the state.
Now enough of laying out previous scripts that have gone off the beaten path for NBA players and their sons. If Anthony chooses SU, he’d join names like Shareef O’Neal (son of Shaquille O’Neal, LSU), Jaelen House (son of Eddie House, Arizona State), Jayden Hardaway (son of Penny Hardaway, Memphis) and others that played or currently play for their dad’s alma mater.
What if Kiyan picks elsewhere?
First off, the 6’3 four-star guard is not getting the “famous dad” treatment. He already has offers from Bryant, George Mason, Manhattan and Memphis as a class of 2025 talent. So if Carmelo’s son garners more attention and receives more offers while climbing up the rankings, you can’t blame him, especially if ‘Cuse doesn’t promise ample playing time.
But on Syracuse’s end, it would be a punch in the gut. To think how bad SU recruiting has been outside of last season is painful enough for Orange fans and it would only compound if Anthony picks against his dad’s alma mater. Now consider the following fact. Jim Boeheim might not be Syracuse’s head coach in two seasons. That could sway Kiyan away from the Orange, but shouldn’t thwart SU’s appearance in the guard’s top three. Even without Boeheim, Anthony’s game fits the Judah Mintz role perfectly.
The fact that Kiyan likes to control the offense, challenge defenders one-on-one, and have shot flexibility is the stereotypical SU one and two guard blend. Add his family connection and that’s why it would hurt even more if Anthony chooses against the Orange.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game is necessary in this case. Don’t blame Anthony if he garners better offers at more highly-touted schools, blame Syracuse for not pushing hard enough to land Carmelo’s son. That being said, Kiyan’s decision is a ways away and SU’s need to fix its recruiting pitch for ’23 and ’24 players is a necessity before a 2025 guard is on the forefront.