MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Fans were dancing in the rain to celebrate the return of Grizzlies basketball at FedExForum.
“Seeing the youth movement, and seeing these guys growing as a team,” said Brandon Bumgarner, Grizzlies fan. “And Coach Jenkins growing as a coach. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
A crowd of more than 100 people waited outside the Forum two hours before tip-off for the doors to open for the first time this season. But one group was louder and bigger than the others.
“So we all came down today from Murray State,” said Tate Burriss, Murray State student.
More than 40 students from the honors college at Murray State University came to support former Racer superstar, Ja Morant, in his first home NBA game.
“It’s a really cool feeling because he was always just like really good at Murray so it’s cool to see him play against the best competition in the world,” said Burriss.
Murray, Kentucky is a three and a half hour drive away from the Bluff City and some of these Murray State students plan on making trips to Memphis a regular occurrence. They have high hopes for Morant.
“I think we’ll start with rookie of the year!“ Burriss exclaimed. “Then I think he can be an all star all the time. I’m really excited. I’m really excited for him.”
It’s the first home opener without Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in more than a decade. Grizzlies fans will miss them, but today they’re thinking about what the future holds.
“That’s a little weird man,” said Leon Moore, fan. “Since it’s a new team, I’m kind of anxious to see how they’re going to do man.”
“I’m hoping that we can do something with this fresh young look,” said Ivy Smith, fan.
“It’s going to be a fun time in Memphis, we have a bright future,” said Bumgarner.