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Grizzlies MLK Jr. Celebration Event Coverage

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Sports Legacy Symposium presented by The Hyde Family Foundation

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 18 from 12-1 PM WATCH or ATTEND LIVE*
WHO: Honorees Spencer Haywood, Jalen Rose and Tamika Catchings and host, Grizzlies TV Play-By-Play Announcer Pete Pranica
WHERE: Grizzlies Built Ford Tough Practice Facility

*Admission is free with the purchase of a MEM/NOP ticket.


"Discussion on the Intersection of Race and Sports" presented By FedEx

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 17
WHO: Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes, and honorees Spencer Haywood, Jalen Rose, Tamika Catchings and host, ESPN Sportscaster Mark Jones

My Brother's Keeper Memphis Panel presented By FedEx

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 15
WHO: Grizzlies forward Vince Carter, honoree Spencer Haywood and students from Grizzlies Prep

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day High School Classic Presented By Ashley Furniture

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 18 at approximately 4 PM*
WHO: East High School vs. Haywood High School
WHERE: Main court at FedExForum

*Admission is free with the purchase of a MEM/NOP ticket.

Honoree Bios

Jalen Rose

ESPN Analyst Jalen Rose will be honored at this year’s events, celebrating his 13-year NBA career (1994-2007), most notably spent with the Indiana Pacers alongside Reggie Miller, where he reached three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances, including a trip to the 2000 NBA Finals. As the 13th overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Rose left the fabled University of Michigan Wolverines where he was part of the “Fab Five” recruiting class of 1991. During his tenure, the Wolverines made two NCAA Finals appearances in 1992 and 1993 before Rose left for the 1994 NBA Draft. As a freshman, Rose led the Fab Five in scoring, amassing 19 points per game, and set the school freshman scoring record with 597 total points. Subsequently, Michigan is the only team in Final Four history to ever start five freshman. Off the court, in 2000 Rose established the Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund to create opportunity for underprivileged youth. Since its inception, Rose has personally donated more than $1.2 million to the fund. Successively in 2011, Rose then created the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in his hometown Detroit. The 9-12th grade public charter high school seeks to transform students into scholars, where they develop character, skills and necessary knowledge to matriculate and graduate from college so they have the opportunities to be successful in today’s competitive world. The Detroit News’ 2013 Michiganian of the Year, Rose currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the JRLA and is a recognized Ambassador and Spokesperson for the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Spencer Haywood

A legend of the ABA, Mississippi-native Spencer Haywood forever changed the NBA landscape. As a 20-year old rookie with the ABA’s Denver Rockets in 1969-70, Haywood owned the league’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player designations, while also leading the league in scoring and rebounding, grabbing an average of 19.5 rebounds per game, the ABA’s all-time record. Haywood shook the scene in the 1970-71 season when he decided to sign with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. At the time, the NBA prohibited the drafting and signing of a player before his college class graduated. The NBA league office and other NBA teams opposed the move, protesting that it violated existing rules. Subsequently, the NBA took Haywood and the Sonics to court. The argument in Haywood's favor was that, as the sole wage earner in his struggling family, he was a "hardship case" and therefore had a right to begin earning his living. The Supreme Court ruled in Haywood's favor, forever altering professional basketball. Beginning in 1971, underclassmen were allowed to enter the NBA Draft provided they could give evidence of "hardship" to the NBA office. In 1976 the hardship requirement was eliminated in favor of the current Early Entry procedure, whereby any athlete with remaining college eligibility can enter the NBA Draft on the condition that he notifies the league office at least 45 days before the draft. But before the final legal decision, Haywood would encounter a lot of hostility from the general public about his attempts to play in the NBA. However, after finally being cleared to play late in the 1970-71 season, Haywood joined the Sonics and averaged 20.6 ppg over the final 33 games. The five years he spent with Seattle represented the most stable and productive period of his career -- he made four NBA All-Star Teams, two All-NBA First Teams and two All-NBA Second Teams. After retiring from playing in 1983, Haywood became involved in real estate development in Detroit, and wrote his autobiography, Spencer Haywood: The Rise, the Fall, the Recovery.

Tamika Catchings

Known as the WNBA’s Indiana Fever’s “do everything” forward, Tamika Catchings is set to become the WNBA’s only player ever to spend an entire career of 15 or more seasons with the same franchise, joining an elite group of her NBA counterparts to conquer the same designation: Kobe Bryant (19), John Stockton (19), Tim Duncan (18), Reggie Miller (18), Dirk Nowitzki (17), John Havlicek (16), Hal Greer (15), Elgin Baylor (14), Joe Dumars (14), Tony Parker (14), David Robinson (14), and Jerry West (14). On the court, she’s earned WNBA Finals MVP honors while leading the Fever to the 2012 WNBA championship. A year earlier, in 2011, she captured her first regular-season MVP honor. Last year, Catchings announced her intentions to retire following the 2016 WNBA season which coincides with the Summer Olympics in August 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Catchings hopes to join an elite club with Teresa Edwards and Lisa Leslie who are currently the only American basketball players, male or female, to earn four Olympic gold medals. She is currently the WNBA career playoffs leader in points, rebounds, free throws and steals. Off the court, Catchings is one of the country’s most highly-regarded citizen-athletes. An inductee of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Catchings has spread her good works throughout Indiana and through national campaigns. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton appointed Catchings to serve on the U.S. Department of State’s Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports. Serving in that capacity, she has traveled around the globe to engage girls and women through the power of sport. Among her social and cultural accolades, Catchings also serves as President of the WNBA Player Association.

For more information on the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz).Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies by purchasing tickets to the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game, 2015-16 Season Tickets or Holiday Packs can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single-Game tickets for all other Grizzlies games are still available now.