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The Basketball Tournament, Carmelo Anthony Foundation make it a special day at Lake Montebello

The Basketball Tournament, in conjunction with The Carmelo Anthony Foundation, created a special day at Lake Montebello Elementary & Middle School on Tuesday.

The organizations hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration at the school, where an outdoor play space was unveiled featuring a new basketball court. The school’s gym also was freshly painted.

The school’s principal, Lorna Hanley, was grateful for all the work that was put in to make the special day. With her office window overlooking the new playground, she looks forward to hearing bouncing balls and kids laughing when school returns in the fall.

“This is amazing. It makes me feel so good as a principal. These days don’t happen a lot, so when it happens, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is why I’m doing this,’ ” said Hanley, who will begin her sixth year as the school’s principal this fall. “This is a beautiful side of Baltimore that we don’t talk a lot about, and that we don’t see enough of. It’s happening, but it’s happening in pockets, and I’m just proud to be a part of this particularl pocket today.”

The basketball court is part of Anthony’s Courts 4 Kids initiative. The 10-time NBA All-Star was expected to attend the ceremony, but a foundation spokesperson said he could not make it because of his current NBA situation.

Multiple reports say Anthony will join the Houston Rockets, but league paperwork still needs to be done.

Last week, the Oklahoma City Thunder reached an agreement with the Atlanta Hawks to trade Anthony in a three-team deal with the Philadelphia 76ers that has yet to be finalized. Once the deal is official, the Hawks plan to release him, and after he clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with the Rockets.

The Basketball Tournament’s semifinals and championship game will take place in Baltimore for a second straight year, set for Aug. 2-3 at Morgan State’s Hill Fieldhouse. The games will be broadcast on ESPN.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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