Grizzlies get hands dirty to revitalize community

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies are all about giving back to the Bluff City, so Thursday the Grizz helped put the finishing touches on a newly renovated Chandler Park.

"This is what it's all about at the end of the day," said Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. "A lot of the guys in the league wouldn't be in the position they're in without people coming in and affecting us in a positive manner, and that's what we want to do."

The park located in Soulsville was in need of a redo.

So with the help of District 6 City Councilman Edmund Ford and a public-private partnership between the Grizzlies and the Soulsville community, the neighborhood's renovated park is now complete.

"Diane Terrell, who's one of the VPs for the Grizzlies, we've shared similar visions on what we can do in communities to make sure that they're sustainable," Ford said.

"Our partnership with the city is phenomenal," said Diane Terrell. "I think this is the seventh project we've done in the last four years."

The project now brings the park new basketball courts complete with Grizzlies logos, a new rugby field, community gardens and murals that the kids in the Soulsville community helped paint.

Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale says parks like this can only do good.

"It means everything to the neighborhood," Fizdale said. "I think about when I was growing up, if we had parks that was like this, the impact it could've made on kids' lives."

"I come from a small city," said Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans. "So, I know what it's like. So, any chance to do something positive for the kids, give them something to do, is always good."

Ford said he hopes projects like Chandler Park can show how valuable private-public partnerships can be for the city, and the Grizzlies agree.

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