Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
If you don't know Fabricio Paulino de Melo's story, then see the blurb below and head over to LOY's place for the rest of the story.
A native of Brazil, Melo did not start playing competitive basketball until the ninth grade. Melo's lost his dad to a heart attack when he was just a toddler. Melo's mother sent her teenage son away from his hometown in Brazil to live in Florida with a host family and with a dream of playing professional basketball, but little else. Soccer was his first love, and he was very good at it, but at 7 feet tall and with size 18 feet, he had outgrown that sport and was encouraged by his coach to play basketball. He enrolled in Sagemont High School in Weston Florida in 2008 as a junior. He sat out a year of interscholastic competition because of Florida High School transfer rules for international players and played his senior year. Sagemont finished the year with a 23-8 record and Fab was ranked the top center in the ESPN Top 100 rankings for the class of 2010.
Another must-read is this article on Melo detailing his struggles at Syracuse, including (of all things) his name. You see, there was another "Melo" that played a Syracuse and happened to win a National Title. So, fair or not, some fans might have been hoping for more of the same.
''It was more the pressure that I had to be like Carmelo Anthony,'' Melo said. ''I will come in here and win a national championship for Syracuse. It was something I didn't expect. I think that was the toughest thing for me. I'm still new to the game.''
Well, he comes to Boston with no expectations other than that he will work hard and hopefully be a decent center sometime in the future. I think he'll get good support from Boston fans and he'll work hard on his craft. That's about all you can ask for.