The Memphis Grizzlies are known as one of the most charitable basketball organizations in the NBA. Now, they're taking it a step further by recruiting mentors to team up and get involved in the lives of Memphis kids.
They're looking to recruit 100 mentors in 50 days. It's just a week away from the deadline and they are few new mentors short of the goal. The team is urging people to step up and get involved.
Elliot Perry is synonymous with success in Memphis. The former Memphis Tiger, and Grizzly, is now a commentator for the Grizz. He credits part of his success to having a mentor who was a big influence on his life growing up.
"He talked about you can do anything you want to do. We hear that a lot. He showed me it was not just a cliché. If I said I couldn't do something, he'd always challenge me and show me that I could do it," says Perry.
Perry said it was his mentor who first put the idea of going to college in his head. It changed his life. Perry is urging Memphians to join the Grizzlies "team up" movement.
"This is going to come down to how many people we can connect with young people to give them the opportunity to build relationships to say, that changed my life."
The grizzlies partner with more than 30 non-profits with mentoring opportunities for after school, weekends, during your lunch hour, one on one, or in groups.
Craig Lawson and Kanon Lyons were paired up and now have lunch once a week at Veritas College Prep, just a quick drive from Craig's work.
"It requires 30 minutes a day, once a week. We go and eat lunch with the students and then you go back to work. So there's not hardly any time commitment at all, but you gain a lot from the experience," says Lawson.
Lyons adds, "I can learn more and have a better life after college. I have learned about sports, learned life lessons."
Kanon and Craig are researching Duke University, where Kanon hopes to go to college.
It's this kind of mentoring that Perry says anyone can do, "I think this is one of the most important things we can do as an organization and as a city is get involved with our young people, not just sitting on the sidelines."
For more info visit http://www.teamupmemphis.org/