Memphis Grizzlies Fans Quarantine Chronicles: Part 4

Anthony Sain

In today's Memphis Grizzlies Fans Quarantine Chronicles, we will meet Derrick Ford, a transplant from Chicago who works with elementary school students in Memphis. He shared with us his concerns, his optimism, and his fears. Not just for himself and his immediate family but also for the students that he serves.

My Thoughts On Today's Memphis Grizzlies Fans Quarantine Chronicles

"I get the suspension," said Ford, a native of Chicago who moved to Memphis after graduating nearby Mississippi Valley State University.  "You'd rather be safe than sorry. The interesting thing will be to see which players stay in shape, or let themselves go. If they don't resume the season I feel bad for older players like LeBron James that only have a short time left in their prime before they fall off."

"I am spending most of my time working on my side hustle and pushing my kids to explore entrepreneurship, and having them keep in mind what is considered essential services. The pandemic is really bringing out the best in some people, as I see people pulling together and looking out for each other."

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ford is generally optimistic about everything concerning his immediate family but he has some legitimate concerns when it comes to his students back at work.  Those that he had a lot of hands-on time with.  Those that he knows that needed to be in school.

"As an educator, I really feel for those students that school was really their safe place and the bond that some kids have with their teachers which was suddenly taken from them," said Ford. "I feel for the students that you know depended on the meals, and looked forward to seeing the school staff because that teacher or was their one source of positivity in their lives." 

"Although our children are resilient, and we have success stories of our students accomplishing great things from all corners of our community, the digital divide during this crisis can have long-lasting negative consequences," Ford added. "Students that have consistent access to technology are going on business as usual, but children without access are falling further and further behind. Falling behind in the early elementary grades can have an even greater negative ripple effect."

Ford reminds us all that this pandemic is widespread.  It affects our own children as well as others.  He is ready to see his Grizzlies back on the court but he is even more concerned about getting his students back in their classroom.

© Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

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