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Conley and Pondexter join Hill Harper and MassMutual for Financial Literacy Forum for youth

Coach Hollins to address importance of financial planning at Executive Breakfast.

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

MEMPHIS, February 27, 2013 – Grizzlies players Mike Conley and Quincy Pondexter, along with actor and author Hill Harper, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual) and Memphis City Schools will host a financial literacy forum for Memphis youth at FedExForum on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. Associate sponsors include the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, the Hyde Family Foundations and Junior Achievement. Media is invited to attend.

Mike Conley, Quincy Pondexter, MassMutual and the Grizzlies have enlisted the help of one of the most well respected public figures in the African-American community, Hill Harper, to close out the significant celebrations of Black History Month. Harper, who currently stars in the hit television drama CSI: NY, is a passionate advocate for youth and the empowerment that financial education can bring them. Harper is a firm believer in the transformative power of education, graduating magna cum laude from Brown University and earning a J.D. and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.

“Professional athletes often are portrayed as being big spenders during our careers,” said Mike Conley, point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. “Quincy and I are excited to be part of this Financial Literacy Forum with Hill Harper to show that professional athletes realize the importance of starting from a young age to learn about financial responsibility. Many of us are working hard to reach our financial goals for retirement.”

Middle school aged students from Memphis City Schools will be transported to FedExForum to participate in a forum designed to educate them about managing their money at an early age. During the forum, Harper will speak about the wealth cure for students and engage in a Q & A session with Conley and Pondexter. The students will also be entertained by the Grizz Girls, the Kings of the Court and the Grit and Grind Squad. Music will be provided by local radio personality Devin Steele. The students will receive complementary copies of Harper’s books, Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: Define your Destiny. The event is one of the last programs of the now deceased Vice President of Basketball Operations, Dana Davis, was working on and will be held in his honor.

“I’m so excited to share my work to cultivate financial literacy with the youth of Memphis,” said Harper. “This collaboration with MassMutual and the Memphis Grizzlies players allows me to extend my mission to help young people understand that they don’t have to use money as an excuse for not living the best version of their lives.”

Prior to the program, MassMutual local general agency, Midsouth Financial Group, will also host an Executive Breakfast in Lexus Lounge from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Invited guests include Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and community leaders, Grizzles representatives and MCS personnel. Hill Harper will be the keynote speaker at the event. Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins will also speak briefly at the breakfast. Media is invited to attend.

“MassMutual is proud to support the community of Memphis with this financial education program for its students,” said William Silvanic, senior vice president, MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division. “We’ve had a great relationship with the city, employing 150 citizens of the greater-Memphis area at our location here and also serving as the retirement plan provider for the business staff of the Memphis Grizzlies. Education is a valuable component of MassMutual’s retirement plan program, and we are pleased to support the Grizzlies as they prepare not just for retirement but beyond. It is rewarding to see business and community come together to educate youth about financial responsibility at this very pivotal stage in their lives.”

The Memphis Grizzlies and MassMutual both serve as sponsors for Junior Achievement and will continue to aid them in promoting financial literacy among students in the Mid-South.

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or find MassMutual on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. For information regarding MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, you may also visit massmutual.com/retire or find us on Facebook.com/RetireSmart and YouTube.com/RetireSmart.

Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase tickets to any of the Grizzlies’ remaining contests of the 2012-13 season or 2013-14 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to
grizzlies.com. Tickets for the Plaza IV and Terrace IV sections are sold out. For more information on the Grizzlies,‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz).