- Category: News
31 Mar 2011
- Written by Kelley Evans
It was like a family affair. You know, the kind where you find yourself within hugging distance of distant relatives, and you can ask them almost anything you’d like. It was like a family affair. You know, the kind where you find yourself within hugging distance of distant relatives, and you can ask them almost anything you’d like.
Tony Allen makes a memory with a young Grizz fan. (Photos by Kelley Evans)
This on-ball autograph opportunity had Zach Randolph focused on delivering.
The rain didn’t damper the plans of fans that came out in large numbers to meet their favorite players.
They were lined up and waiting as the players took their seats to greet them. Once the first fan entered the facility it was two hours of constant fan appreciation. It was a very intimate setting. Fans were like reporters asking questions about game plays and future plans.
As the clock moved, the line didn’t seem to let up. Fan after fan, poster after poster, camera after camera; the ticket holders showed their excitement and the players and coaches showed their appreciation.
The party, which was open to all season ticket holders, afforded them the opportunity to have short, one-on-one talks with players and coaching staff. Participants received a T-shirt and tote bag before leaving.
The Grizzlies had just made it back from Chicago after falling to the Bulls 99-96 and they were eager to thank their fans for a season of support.
Head Coach Lionel Hollins noticed that fans were there despite the inclement weather.
“I think it’s a great event to show our appreciation for the fans that come out and support us,” Hollins said. “For them to come out and support us on a rainy day is important. I’d like to thank the fans for all of their support and for sticking with us through thick and thin.”
Shane Battier, the veteran who is a Grizzly for the second time in his career, saw some familiar and new faces.
“This is a great basketball city and it’s good to have the support of pure basketball fans,” Battier said. “It makes us feel great to know the people bear the elements to come out and say hello. It’s a great time and an opportunity for us to say thank you to our great fans.”
Rookie Xavier Henry has missed most of the season due to injury but it didn’t stop him from showing his appreciation to the fans.
“It was real good here with all the season ticket holders we got to see,” Henry said. “We had fun today. It makes us feel good. As a team we’re trying to do the best we can for them. They come out, watch us play and they support us. We’re trying to make the playoffs for the fans.”