MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For the Memphis Grizzlies, basketball comes with the responsibility of bringing something more to the young people of Memphis.
Monday, the Grizzlies celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by holding a panel discussion with some very impressive young men who refuse to be just a statistic.
"My daddy died when I was only 10," said UT Knoxville student Brian Carr. "He was my best friend. But in that 10 he taught me to be a man."
Carr had every reason not to be successful, but he is now a full time student at UT Knoxville. He's exactly the kind of person the Memphis Grizzlies are trying to reach.
"When you look at the platform the Memphis Grizzlies have in our community, it's probably the largest platform of anything," said Director of Player Support Elliot Perry. "So, what we've tried to do is be socially responsible and give our young people an opportunity to interface with our franchise."
The Grizzlies, in conjunction with My Brother's Keeper -- a White House initiative designed to ensure the educational future of men and boys of color -- are giving back and letting young Memphians know the sky's the limit.
"Martin Luther King Day is just one platform to bring our community together and empower them with the tools that our kids in particular need to be successful," said Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation Diane Terrell.
One of those success stories in an East High senior named Norman. He's the valedictorian and class president.
"Regardless of your background, what obstacles you've gone through, there's no excuse not to achieve success," said Norman. "There's avenues out there that you can take to seek help, mentorships you can be part of to help reach your goals."
Brian added, "People look up to those organizations to step up because they've made it and they want us to know we can make it, and we can one day be some job greater than just the status quo."