MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - "Ball is life" is the philosophy Austin, Texas native Demetrius Smith lives by.
From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep, Smith says basketball is the only thing on his mind.
With the Memphis Grizzlies G-League squad, the Memphis Hustle hosting open tryouts this weekend, Smith took a MegaBus all the way from Texas to the Bluff City to make ball his career.
"I've been grinding day in day out just for this opportunity," Smith said. "Very blessed. Very thankful. A day or two ain't going to hurt me for an opportunity that might could change my life. So the grind is real."
Smith is a maintenance technician for an apartment in Austin and says he sometimes works without a day off.
He's also a father of two young kids, so coming to Memphis meant missing time with his family, but it's a sacrifice he says his kids understand.
"I gave up spending time with my family," Smith said. "My kids love it so much that they was willing to let me leave with open arms, and they was happy. They said 'goodbye dad.' So I came and I'm pushing for them."
Smith says he's also looking to make his pro basketball dreams come true with his parents in mind.
"It would mean the world to me," Smith said. "I've been doing this since like 6 years old. Losing both of my parents at a young age, watching basketball with my dad, him taking me to the court and him not being here today. It would just mean the world."