Memphis Grizzlies to honor Ray Allen, Nneka Ogwumike and Kenny Smith as part of 19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game
Memphis, Tenn. — On Monday, Jan. 18, the Memphis Grizzlies, National Civil Rights Museum, City of Memphis and Shelby County will host the 19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game, presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers. The MLK Celebration Game vs. the Phoenix Suns will tip off at 4 p.m. in a side-by-side telecast, broadcasting regionally on FOX Sports Southeast and nationally on TNT. Local channel listings can be found here. The Celebration Game concludes a collection of virtual events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual adaptations of annual events include the Sports Legacy Award presentation, annual Earl Lloyd Sports Legacy Symposium, the National Civil Rights Museum discussion and Coaches Forum. All events are in an effort to continue the ongoing conversations with the Memphis community and Mid-South youth to remember, celebrate and act on Dr. King’s legacy. Associate MLK Celebration Game sponsors include Verizon, Hyde Family Foundation and FedEx.
National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award Honorees
This year’s honorees of the 16th Annual National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award, presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers, feature NBA and WNBA greats Ray Allen, Nneka Ogwumike and Kenny Smith. The honorees will be celebrated on game day during the Earl Lloyd Sports Legacy Symposium, presented by the Hyde Family Foundation. The symposium will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Southeast on Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m. and will recognize Allen, Ogwumike and Smith for their dedication and significant contributions – in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – to civil and human rights, the social justice movement and for laying the foundation for future leaders through their careers in sports.
Virtual Discussions and Community Impact
The multi-day schedule of events begins on Thursday, Jan. 14, when the Memphis Grizzlies and National Civil Rights Museum will host virtually The Intersection of Race & Sports: Inequities in Education, presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers, premiering at 6 p.m. on grizzlies.com/MLK and the Memphis Grizzlies YouTube Channel. To subscribe and receive notifications from the Memphis Grizzlies YouTube page click here. The virtual discussion, hosted by Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace, will begin with a one-on-one conversation between Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Lee Freeman will then moderate a panel discussion focused on Inequities in Education with NBA TV host and former player Grant Hill, ESPN host, former player and founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Jalen Rose and Memphis Grizzlies Director of Player Support, former Grizzlies player and Grizzlies Prep mentor Elliot Perry. The virtual conversation will continue with a youth-focused panel, hosted by University of Tennessee Knoxville senior Courtney Cox and featuring Memphis Grizzlies Scholars Program eighth grader Tristan Ficklen, East High School history teacher Daniel Warner, Shelby County Schools Director of Equity Office of Schools Dr. Michael Lowe and Facing History & Ourselves Executive Director Marti Tippens Murphy. In addition, the broadcast will include performances by musical guests Larry Dodson of The Bar-kays and Frayser Boy backed by the Hi Rhythm Section, recorded at the legendary Royal Studios.
The celebration continues the following day, Friday, Jan. 15, with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service presented by FedEx. Grizzlies employees and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis will host a giveaway of food, personal items and school supplies, with food and essentials provided by Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, servicing 1,200 local families. The drive-thru is invite only and the families will receive a voucher for entry from their participating organization.
On Monday, Jan. 18, before the symposium and Celebration Game, a Virtual Coaches Forum in partnership with Jr. NBA and the Positive Coaching Alliance will premiere on grizzlies.com/MLK and the Memphis Grizzlies at Noon. The hour-long forum is designed to help coaches and other youth basketball influencers foster inclusive environments within youth sports. Moderated by Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson, the panel will feature Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies Assistant Coach Sonia Raman, former NBA player Larry Hughes, Los Angeles Sparks guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Marti Reed of the Positive Coaching Alliance. Free registration is available at MemGrizzYouth.com/MLK and includes a chance to win an autographed Ja Morant basketball.
Tune-in Monday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. to the MLK Celebration Game vs. the Phoenix Suns in a side-by-side telecast, broadcasting regionally on FOX Sports Southeast, presented by FanDuel SportsBook and nationally on TNT. Fans will want to tune in early at 3:30 p.m. to catch Grizzlies LIVE presented by Ford and your Mid-south Ford Dealers featuring Pete Pranica, Brevin Knight, Rob Fischer and Chris Vernon. Local channel listings can be found here.