Tony Allen karaoke night raises money for troubled youth - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tony Allen karaoke night raises money for troubled youth

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -  We know him for his grit and grind play on the court, but Grizzlies star Tony Allen will always remember his gritty upbringing.

"Overcoming adversity, that's what I'm about," said Allen. "I look at myself coming from the inner city, housing authority, things of that nature, my mother working 3 to 4 jobs, us being poor, us being on welfare and me getting in trouble." But Allen believes all those circumstances can be changed.

"Sky's the limit if you get your mind on the right track," said Allen.

That's why, every year, he hosts a karaoke night to help JIFF or Juvenile Intervention and Faith based Follow up, an organization that helps youth who have been in the juvenile court system.

"The main thing is, it helped me stay out of the streets," said 18-year-old participant Jaye Johnson.

There, with his experience as a troubled inner city youth, Tony can show these kids that they're not lost causes.

Why karaoke? Well, because-- as anyone will tell you about Tony Allen-- he loves music, so much so that at Grizzlies games you'll hear his favorite song, "Go Harder," by rapper Future.

But, Tony might not know any of the lyrics.

"Tony sings, Tony raps, and knows the words to none of them," said Desiree Allen, his wife. "But he thinks he knows the words to everything, and I always to go to him and say 'Can you say that a little louder? Can you tell me?' It's always mumble jumble."

It's not stopping him from judging karaoke night contestants, all as one of the biggest fundraising efforts during the year for JIFF.

So it's not just his chaos on the court, it's his caring off it, that has people singing his praises.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly