Joerger Hosts Two Charity Events
With the start of the 2015-16 season now officially underway – Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger takes the momentum from a productive, albeit calm, offseason into Opening Night. With several firsts under his belt in the 2014-15 season – including becoming the fastest head coach to reach 100 career victories among all active NBA head coaches – Joerger also took the time to host his first charity events under the recently introduced Dave Joerger Foundation during the 2015 offseason.
On back-to-back nights, Joerger and his coaching staff hosted “Giving on the Green”, benefitting the Youth Athletic Ministries, followed by the “Second Annual Season Preview Dinner with Dave Joerger”, benefitting NJTL (National Junior Tennis and Learning). Golf and tennis fans alike were able to mingle with Joerger and his staff for two consecutive nights in September with the commonality being basketball and the power of sports in youth development.
“We started the Dave Joerger Foundation last fall (2014). We're starting slow. We want to do it right. We want to help people,” said Joerger. “The number one thing we want to do is help people play inner-city tennis in Memphis through the NJTL (National Junior Tennis and Learning), which is a program started by Arthur Ashe.”
For more than a decade, Tennis Memphis has impacted the lives of Memphis’ youth through its NJTL Tennis Summer Camps, and with year-round youth development programming at municipal tennis centers and schools in the Memphis area. Annually, 2000 children participate in Tennis Memphis’ seven-week NJTL Summer Tennis Camps of which 80 percent are partially or fully supported through scholarships.
As a former two-sport athlete [tennis and basketball], Joerger aims for his foundation to provide opportunities for youth in athletics – an area he feels has the most impact on development for children at such an impressionable age. During his second year as Head Coach, Joerger began the annual Season Preview Dinner event, benefitting NJTL. In 2015, the Foundation then oversaw the event as its first youth tennis benefit.
"I have a great love and fondness for tennis,” Joerger continued. “This [NJTL program] is a great way to get kids out. It's been tremendous trying to raise funds for them. You try to build up your foundation so you're able to give to places you want to give to. It could be Staples High School [where Joerger attended high school], Moorhead State, or a college fund for kids. It's an opportunity to raise funds and do those kinds of things so you set yourself up to help people, which is basically the bottom line."
Over the past 3 years through its NJTL program, Tennis Memphis has experienced tremendous growth -- reaching thousands of children by delivering tennis throughout the community at seven public tennis centers, 17 community centers, two public parks, 20 Shelby County School district elementary schools and four Boys and Girls Clubs.
“As a board member of Tennis Memphis, Coach Joerger’s energy and enthusiasm has been contagious throughout the Memphis community,” said Stephen Lang, executive director of Tennis Memphis. “He’s helping our organization advance its non-profit mission by raising awareness and funds for our National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) youth development programs, while positively impacting the lives of thousands of children both on and off the tennis court.”
Stayed tuned for more current events hosted by the Dave Joerger Foundation.