5 Great Things: Memphis athletes inspiring others

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Whether it's a Broadway musical opening at the Orpheum Theater or Super Bowl 2018, there are a lot of great things happening in the Mid-South and for Mid-Southerners, here are five from this week.

Memphis kickers in Super Bowl

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott are both former University of Memphis standouts.

Gostkowski, who's been one of the best kickers in the league since his arrival in 2006, is no stranger to the big game, already owning two Super Bowl rings.

Elliott's career is just getting started; he was drafted by the Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft and signed by the Eagles after their incumbent kicker was injured. He's now broken several team records and is, perhaps, the top rookie kicker in the league.

Rhodes baseball team adopts cancer patient

Aiden Taylor, 12, is battling cancer and just finished a round of chemotherapy but Sunday morning, but none of that mattered on his signing day.

The Rhodes baseball team welcomed Aiden to the league as an adopted player.

It's an opportunity made possible by the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization established by a young girl, Jaclyn Murphy, diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her wish was to help every sick child find a sports team friendship.

Grizzlies players surprise kids at GrizzFit bootcamp

Grizzlies forward James Ennis and center Brandan Wright stopped by the GrizzFit Kids Bootcamp to surprise the students in attendance.

The boot camp is a program through the Grizzlies Foundation that gets coaches to serve as mentors for children in the community.

Grizzlies Prep Scholars were also part of these activities at the YMCA downtown. That program selects rising 8th graders to attend the Grizzlies Charter School and prepare them for competitive high schools.

Memphis teachers awarded for exceptional work

Emily Taubken, a 3rd-grade teacher at Kingsbury elementary, was awarded this year's Best Elementary School Teacher in the Shelby County Schools district and Natasha Medford, an 8th-grade teacher at Ridgeway Middle, was awarded Best Middle School Teacher.

School officials said both were examples of educators going above and beyond for their students while producing outstanding results.

The two teachers are now nominated for the State Award that will be given out in September.

Finding Neverland inspires audiences at Orpheum Theatre

The Broadway musical Finding Neverland, about how J.M. Barrie created the immortal story of Peter Pan, is inspiring Memphis audiences from now until January 28 at the Orpheum theater.

The show is fun for all ages and makes an impassioned plea in favor of imagination, faith, and childhood.

The play is a magical escape from reality that will inspire children, entertain adults, and teach everyone in attendance the importance of living life to its fullest.

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