Many fans of the Memphis Grizzlies have always felt that way already but on August 3rd Rudy Gay was officially named Role Model of the Year by the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.
As if that wasn’t enough, August 3rd was also declared Rudy Gay Day in the state of Connecticut (that’s where Middlesex County is for those that don’t know).
Rudy was honored by the state where he played college basketball for his active work in the Memphis community including the Hoops for St. Jude program, The Staxtacular fundraiser for Stax Museum and his Christmas shopping spree for single parent families. Rudy has also worked with the Grizzlies Read to Achieve program and he hosted the 12th annual SportsBall which raised money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
“Rudy Gay is not only an outstanding professional basketball player, but more importantly, he gives so much back to the community,” Chamber President Larry McHugh said of the former UCONN star. “We are proud to honor him with our Role Model of the Year Award.”
The event was attended by over 500 people including almost 100 kids from the various youth programs in Middlesex County, CT. Also at the event were University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Coach, and 2005 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Calhoun, and Assistant Coaches Kevin Ollie, Kevin Freeman, Glen Miller and Karl Hobbs.
As Role Model of the Year, Rudy Gay joins a distinguished list of winners that includes Ray Allen of the Miami Heat, Emeka Okafor of the Washington Wizards, Caron Butler of the Los Angeles Clippers, former New York Liberty star Rebecca Lobo, Tina Charles of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, former Dallas Cowboys star Roger Staubach, former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi, former San Francisco 49er Chris Hetherington, former Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell and PGA Golfer Peter Jacobsen.