8 year-old Charvis Brewer had a wish and a dream, one that many young kids share: to be drafted by an NBA Team, specifically the Memphis Grizzlies. With the help of the Memphis Grizzlies and Make-A-Wish foundation, Charvis’s dream become a reality this week. The official Make-A-Wish story can be found here.
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Charvis is prevented from doing normal activities and confined to a wheel chair. But like any other boy, he is full of liveliness and a lover of sports. Even with his infirmity, Charvis dreams of one day being on an NBA team. So, when Pete Pranica and Mike Conley surprised Charvis with the news that he had been drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies, it seemed his ultimate wish had been granted. Being drafted, however, would only be the start of it. As a newly drafted Grizzly, one of Charvis’s first stops was an introductory press conference and contract signing. Grizzlies Coach Dave Joerger sat next to him – wearing a 1,000 watt smile – as Charvis signed his contract officially making him apart of the Grizzlies family.
On Sunday, Charvis attended the team’s practice and joined his teammates for the first time. Upon arrival, he eagerly shared his sage advice and tips for the team, even going so far as to call out Coach Joerger’s rotations! Charvis provided suggestions for players’ positions and offensive strategies. Mike Miller even commended Charvis’s zeal to advise the team by saying, “I like this guy! You’re a good coach!” Of course, this type of motivation from Charvis is just what the Grizzlies need after their early season struggles.
In particular, Zach Randolph took Charvis under his wing and provided him a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grizzlies’s facilities. During the tour of the locker room, Charvis was stunned to see his very own locker, complete with his own jersey! By the end of the day, Charvis had experienced the full range of what it means to be a member of the Grizzlies; though, it didn’t end there.
On Monday night, Charvis enjoyed watching the Grizzlies take on the Chicago Bulls from box seats and was given the opportunity to high-five all the players as they ran onto the court. During the game, members of #GrizzNation got behind Charvis, calling for Coach Joerger to #FreeCharvis or proclaiming themselves to be part of #TeamCharvis.
— Zach Thomas (@zacharytthomas) December 31, 2013
— 3 Shades of Blue (@3Shadesofblue) December 31, 2013
— Jonathan Louis May (@jmay11) December 31, 2013
It was an inspiriting moment for Charvis and the Grizzlies, especially when Charvis shared that he intends to go into Special Olympics Basketball. Clearly, the Memphis Grizzlies have inspired him, yet it may be the other way around as well. Charvis’s adversities and his perseverance and commitment to overcoming them is a lesson that transcends age, fame and fortune – and one that the players were grateful to have. Charvis helped to remind the Grizzlies that through adversity comes strength- a strength that keeps pushing you to go further, try harder, and fight longer.
So thank you, Charvis Brewer. You’re certainly #Allheartgritgrind.