MEMPHIS, Tenn. – As much as Mike Conley’s presence lit up the court at Grizzlies games, it’s Mike Conley the philanthropist Latashia Streeter will miss most.
“He has been such a great help for the Orange Mound Youth Association,” said Streeter, the league administrator.
When a bus carrying football players from Streeter’s league crashed in December, killing a 9-year-old, Conley showed his generosity.
He hosted survivors at a Grizzlies game, paid medical expenses and Streeter said he paid for a retreat for 250 players.
“We had counselors on site, and Mike took care of it all."
But even as he ends his 12 years playing for the Grizzlies, Conley's legacy will live on in Memphis, especially at the Methodist Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.
“He has already set a legacy for this clinic,” said Dr. Artangela Henry, a nurse practitioner at the center.
Henry said Conley has raised more than $1 million for the center including a $500,000 donation in April that saw a clinic named after Conley and his wife. In September, he’ll once again host a bowling fundraiser.
“He makes himself very present for the patients, for the staff. He’s very personable and he just puts himself right in,” said Henry.
His commitment to the community isn’t lost on fans.
“He really gets involved with the kids. He gets involved with the people, the young people,” said Danny Burlison.
“He’s not doing it for the looks or for the fame,” said Judah Sawyer.
Streeter says Conley was a genuine person who will genuinely missed.
“We have a plaque and we have thank you cards that we’ve been holding for a while to give to him and I think we need to get them to him now,” Streeter said.