Grizzlies players shoot hoops with St. Jude patients at new bask - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Grizzlies players shoot hoops with St. Jude patients at new basketball court

Marc Gasol helped a young patient dunk the ball on the new court. (Photo Souce: WMC Action News 5) Marc Gasol helped a young patient dunk the ball on the new court. (Photo Souce: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

The Memphis Grizzlies are finding a way to share their passion for giving back to the community with St. Jude patients.

Now, players big and small can shoot hoops at the Grizzlies Courts at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"It's a beautiful court, obviously with Grizzlies designs," said Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace. "The thing looks like FedExForum, and it also has an adjustable goal so kids of all sizes and ages can participate."

The Grizzlies stepped up to play with some of the patients Tuesday.

"It gives you another perspective on things to watch them interact and ask you questions and to get to know them better as people," said Grizzlies Guard and St. Jude Ambassador Mike Conley. "It truly is a blessing to be around them."

Some of the kids gave the professional players a run for their money. Fifteen-year-old Nick London was a top player in his age group before he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, but still strikes fear into Conley's heart.

"I told Nick earlier, I'm not playing him in video games anymore, and I'm not playing him in one-on-one basketball, horse, or anything," said Conley. "He's got me beat right now. He's got the height, he's an athlete, so I don't want any problems with that."

The Grizzlies have grown to love the friends they've made at St. Jude and hope their passion for hoops translates into hope for the patients.

"Some of them, I like to call them friends, because I've seen them now for a while, and they always have a smile," said Marc Gasol.

Conley added, "For us to be able to help them as much as we can, whether it's just mentally, just being around and seeing them smile is a fantastic feeling."

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