Balancing barbeque and basketball - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Balancing barbeque and basketball

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It's that time of year when barbecue fills the air over Tom Lee Park.

The 36th Annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest officially kicks off Thursday.

Wednesday night was family and friends night as teams warm up their smokers to get ready for the big competition.

As teams put the finishing touches on their tents and booths for barbecue fest there's something many of the teams have to consider this year that's just as important as the barbecue: postseason Memphis Grizzlies basketball.

"You do both," Kevin Ritz said. "It's the two best things about Memphis: Barbecue fest and the Memphis Grizzlies.  Lots of us are season ticket holders, so we set up the TV, we set up the grill, we watch the Grizz. We do it all at once."

Tent to tent, team members are making sure they're fully prepared for the playoffs. Projection screens to flat screens, they've got it covered. Jeremy Jones bought a new TV just for the barbeque fest so he wouldn't miss a play.

"Yes we did! You got to have it!," he said.

You've also got to have the right attire to cheer on the Grizz from the festival. Jan Stark made a shirt out of cut-up growl towels.

"I put Mike Conley's number here because he was the high scorer for the game," she said. "I got (Jerryd) Bayless, he's my favorite, and Tony Allen, he's my favorite too. So, I have them."

A one-of-a-kind shirt for a one-of-a-kind experience for Memphians.

The Grizzlies and barbecue. Definitely a winning combination.

The Grizzlies have a tent set up at the barbeque festival, which is right by the FOX13 News tent.

Quincy Pondexter will be at Grizzlies tent Thursday from 6-7 p.m.

Gates open for barbeque fest at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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