MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - There's no doubt about the University of Memphis being proud of their Tigers dancing all the way to the NCAA. However four different local high schools in Memphis are proud as well. More than half of the 11 players attended high schools right here in the Bluff City.
Tiger fever is in the air, roaring up support for the team's big NCAA game against St. Mary's on Thursday.
The Tigers are a homegrown team. At least seven players went to high school in Memphis.
"I hope I can make it and get somewhere like Joe Jackson," said Antavius Anderson, who goes to White Station High School. He says it feels good to walk through the same halls that Joe Jackson and Ferrakohn Hall once did. Both remain mentors to students now.
Sheffield High School is Chris "Clutch" Crawford's old stomping grounds.
"He came from high school all the way up to college to make it that far. He's like a good person to me and I look up to him," said Mario Williams.
Tarik Black often visits his high school alma mater Ridgeway High School. He even shoots around with the basketball team.
"It's a great feeling to me, even though I'm not a basketball player myself, but it's still a great feeling to know we have somebody who's such, like, a big thing in the sport that he played. It's just an amazing feeling to know that he went there," said Darien Guthrie.
Adonis Thomas is an inspiration to the tight-knit Melrose family, according to Tiger fan and Golden Wildcats cheerleader Aaliyah Perry.
"I'm very proud of him, actually, because when people look at the school that he came from they would never expect that so I'm very proud. I'm sure everybody at Melrose and the staff is very proud of him as well," she said.
The Tigers tip off against St. Mary's on Thursday at 1:45 p.m.