Phenom Alaska to bring big names with NBA ties to town

August 1, 2017

Maceo Melton basketball

Maceo Melton

Anchorage’s Maceo Melton believes basketball gave him a second chance in life.

Hoops helped him get an education and see the world.

Now he wants to use the game to connect with the next generation in his hometown.

Melton, of Grace Christian High fame, has teamed with the national exposure camp Phenom America to form Phenom Alaska, which advocates discipline, hard work and leadership skills on and off the court.

Phenom Alaska is holding a camp Aug. 7-11 in Anchorage that will headline former NBA great John Lucas, who is now a player development coach with his old team, the Houston Rockets; and Nike trainer Chris Thomas, a nationally renowned skills instructor.

“To be the best you have to be around the best,” Melton told me. “These guys can identify talent and speak life into a young soul and that inspiration can catapult a young life to places unimaginable, so please do not be discouraged or intimidated by this level of quality.”

Melton believes he can relate to any basketball player because he grew up wearing different hats in life.

“My parents were in and out of my life, due to drugs, alcohol and repeated incarcerations. Basketball and school were the tools that I used to change my environment but the lack of connection had already made its impact,” he said. “I was a kid from Fairview that went to school on Huffman. That in itself creates an inner dialogue that is hard to silence as I searched for self-worth and identity.”

He found basketball to be his salvation. The game provided him with opportunities and helped him travel to Europe and get paid to be involved with the game he loves.

Now he’s back in Alaska, looking to use basketball as a way to relate with Anchorage kids.

“We want to get local youth excited about the potential of skill development and universal exposure,” Melton said. “Can we change the conversation of others regarding the talent in our state? Can we make them think twice about overlooking our players? We cannot do it alone, as it takes a concerted effort to positively impact the lives of our youth and keep them connected with the community that helped to define them.”