Carmelo Anthony takes you on an enlightening journey into the lives of several NYC youth soccer players.Martin Luther King High School is home to a youth soccer dynasty. Winners of 16 PSAL championships in 21 years, the team brings together a wide variety of players and coaches from all around the world. In the VICE Sports documentary series “Stay Melo,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony gives the world a closer look at the hard work and dedication Head Coach Martin Jacobson and his players put forth as they strive for greatness, despite the many challenges they face.
For the team, the soccer field has become a melting pot of athletic excellence, where together, they overcome insurmountable odds and form lifelong bonds. The documentary follows Carmelo Anthony as he spends time getting to learn more about the personal lives of several extraordinary young men.
At the heart of the documentary, you have the opportunity to meet three current players; Sadou, Rafi and Rolphson, as they share stories of their unique backgrounds and how playing soccer helps them in their daily lives.
The episode shines light on a topic that is close to Carmelo Anthony’s heart. Anthony is a living testament to the influence playing sports at a young age can have on a person life. Born in New York City and raised in Virginia, Anthony describes how his childhood bears similarities to what the young athletes are going through. “I been in your position before, trust me. It was hard, every day coming out the house, you looking over your shoulder. I only had my mom, so it was a single parent. She worked two jobs.”
Anthony’s upbringing is a representation of the same situation many of the players in the documentary, and around the world, face daily; using sports as an escape of a harsh, unforgiving reality. “You want to be a kid, a teenager so you want to hang with your friends, you want to run outside, so you have to deal with that. Then you got sports, I don’t know how I did it to be honest, but I did it.”
The documentary provides a powerful insight into the capability sports has to bring people together and the power to help overcome tremendous obstacles.
Assistant Coach, Shomari Ramsay, who also coaches several of the team’s players on Central Brooklyn, a local youth soccer program, says “MLK is a storied program in NYC and across the country. We get to expose our players to a world of opportunities they may have never gotten the chance to see. We recently trained at Terminal 23 with Kurt Joseph, former brand Jordan trainer, who is currently the strength and conditioning coach with the New York Knicks.”
In this episode of “Stay Melo,” we got first-hand insight on only some of the many stories of young New Yorkers overcoming tough situations and striving for success. Not all are fortunate enough to get the assistance of positive role models.
As said by Anthony, “The moral of the story is you can do it.” Whether you are a kid growing up in the inner city helping to provide for your family or a first generation American of immigrant parents. You can accomplish your goals.