January 21, 2004
CONTACTS: Kimberly Stark, 901-333-4023 -- Keith Gentry,
SAILS HONORED AT HALFTIME OF GRIZZLIES GAME
Southwest athletic director and men's basketball coach Verties Sails, Jr.,
along with 17 other coaches, players and civic and civil rights leaders,
was honored at halftime of the Memphis Grizzlies game against the Houston
Rockets on Monday, January 19 at The Pyramid. Also honored was former
Saluqis' basketball player and women's basketball coach Herb Wright,
father of Grizzlies' player Lorenzen Wright.
The halftime show, used by the Grizzlies to commemorate the Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. holiday, also included Elektra recording artist Gerald
LeVert singing Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."
On Sunday, Sails was part of a symposium hosted by the Grizzlies and the
National Civil Rights Museum at the Cannon Center. During the symposium,
panel members discussed the roles coaches and athletes have played in
social change and economic empowerment for African-Americans.
Also on the panel were John Thompson, former Georgetown University
basketball coach and currently a television commentator for the National
Basketball Association; Chuck Daly, former Detroit Pistons coach and a
member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame; Earl Lloyd, the first
black NBA player and also a member of the National Basketball Hall of
Fame; and Clifford Ray, who was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1971 and
played 10 years in the NBA.