After hearing news of Zach’s departure, nothing I wrote down could properly encapsulate the appreciation and admiration many Memphians and I have for the big fella.
From a basketball standpoint, he put up outstanding numbers and gave the Grizzlies one of its most memorable runs in franchise history, appearing in seven postseason appearances in a row. But what he means to the city of Memphis is much more than numbers could ever show.
For many years, Zach has worked with the Plus-1 program by MIFA to provide utilities for over a thousand people who need assistance, worked with the Boys & Girls clubs for holiday shopping sprees, purchased and gave out coats to children at elementary schools through the Memphis Police Department’s Community Policing Program, countless pit bulls have been saved with his effort in Memphis pit bull rescues, and the list goes on and on.
He was more than just a basketball player, he was a role model.
Eight years ago, the Grizzlies were a team that couldn’t make the playoffs.
Eight years ago, Zach was considered one of the NBA’s tough guys who had too many on court issues.
But on that July afternoon in 2009, all of that changed. The Grizzlies became one of the toughest teams in the NBA and consistently in the playoffs and Zach not only helped lead them in this direction, he also became the class act guy we will always love.
He will always be a Grizzly, but above all, he will always be a Memphian.
Thank you Zach Randolph!