MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just days ahead of the season opener, fans got a first look at the Memphis Grizzlies team that will take on the Bucks to open NBA preseason.
“Great energy this is my first time walking on the court and seeing the bright lights. This just makes me more excited for the season,” said Grizzlies first-round draft pick Ziaire Williams.
New Grizzlies like Steven Adams along with familiar faces like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. also got their first look at the crazed fans.
“We miss them and I’m pretty sure they miss us too. For us to come out and be able to have this open practice for them and them to come to watch is a big time for them I know,” said Ja Morant.
Big time, especially for the Colonial Middle School boys basketball team, who came to see their favorite players in action.
However, for versatile Colonial guard Fredrick Martin, it wasn’t all fun and games, it was also an opportunity to learn.
“I’m very excited, I really love this team. I get to learn a lot of things for with me trying to develop as a player trying to do what they're doing now living their dream which is mine," said Martin.
The Grizzlies put on a show for fans, from wild dunks to dance-offs, and even a little bit of competition.
Martin’s teammate Thadius McCain explained that being able to see the Grizzlies up close motivates him to be a better player.
“We get to see the experience of seeing these players play just upfront, I’m very excited about this season,” said McCain.
After the practice, Ja Morant reminisced on being just like the young kids in the stands cheering him on, saying at one point his current reality was just a dream too.
“I was once that kid looking up to players. Obviously, I didn’t think I would be in this position a while back until, you know, I got my offer and stuff started to play out. I mean that’s big-time, I’m not going to get emotional but…,” said Morant.
Now that fans are hyped for the season ahead, the preseason tip-off is at FedeExForum, Tuesday, Oct. 5.