Professional basketball fans enjoyed plenty of drama last week, as the NBA trade deadline approached and passed on Friday. Ripe with juicy rumors and polarizing topics, pundits stuffed fans with ample table talk sports debate banter.

The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the most active teams, in terms of speculation and blockbuster deals, as they shipped All-Star center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors and opted to retain longtime point guard and fellow All-Star Mike Conley Jr., rather than send both veterans packing.

As the franchise aims to rebuild its core around the prospect of future players on the court, the teams administration shows ardent support for those in the local community.

Well aware of the issue of childhood obesity and the team’s potential for positive influence, the Grizzlies launched a “Get Fit with the Grizzlies” program back in 2006. Through numerous strategic initiatives, the franchise provides exciting opportunities for youth in the area.

According to the team’s website:

There are several components to the Get Fit with the Grizzlies program, the biggest of which is the Grizzlies Fitness Challenge. The Challenge included fourth and fifth grade students from over 100 Memphis and Shelby County elementary schools. Every day over the course of the six-week Challenge students kept track of how many servings of food and drinks from the Food Pyramid they consumed, along with how many minutes of physical activity they participated in. At the end of the challenge, the schools who had the best scores received special prizes and awards. 

Some of the schools that participate in the Fitness Challenge also host Grizzlies Fitness Assemblies where Grizzlies players, coaches, trainers and dance team members work with the kids to promote physical fitness. The Grizzlies also host an Achievement Day at the end of the season at FedExForum for all of the kids who participated during the year.  

In addition to the Fitness Challenge, the Grizzlies have hosted annual coaches’ clinics, where Grizzlies coaches and trainers give tips on how coaches can improve the physical conditioning of their young athletes. Furthermore, grizzlies.com features healthy recipes and fitness tips. 

The sponsors of Get Fit with the Grizzlies provide critical assistance in making the program possible, as they share the Grizzlies’ enthusiasm in trying to combat childhood obesity. 

For both kids and adults alike, motivation is half the battle in maintaining an active lifestyle. One passion people of all ages share is a love for sports, and the NBA’s emphasis on outreach goes a long way to inspire and enable sustainable exercise habits amongst individuals across the country.

To read more about the Get Fit with the Grizzlies program, click here.