MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Chris Chiozza was back in Memphis for the Western Conference Semifinals, going up against the team he grew up watching.
“I was a big Jason Williams fan,” Chiozza said. “I was a big Mike Conley fan. All of those guys. Grit and grind.”
Chiozza, a guard for the Golden State Warriors, was blessed to be back home for Games 1 and 2 of the series.
“Once you get away from here and come back and see all your friends and family and have, you know, come and support me. Just the environment to see the city like this, I mean, it means a lot. You know what the Grizzlies are doing right now, the way the organization is playing and everything it means a lot to the city and it means a lot to me personally.”
Chiozza spent his two first years of high school at Bartlett before transferring to White Station. A move he said launched his career to the NBA.
“I’m happy I made that choice. I’m close to all of those guys that I played with there, my coaches. They normally come to the games. Every game, my guy right there he always yells at me ‘White Station’ before every game. He reminds me of where I came from.”
Memphis’ reputation for being a tough city shaped the way Chiozza plays on the court. He’s a hard-nosed player who is prepared for the unexpected. Like hitting the game winner for Florida to advance to the NCAA Elite 8 in 2017. Or, going undrafted and playing for three different franchises before landing in Golden State, where he feels it’s the perfect fit.”
“You’re blessed to be in the NBA, but you’re even more blessed to be a part of an organization like [Golden State’s]. They take care of you like a family. So, if I can stay here, I love to do that.”
And, continue to learn under star guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
“Growing up, watching them and seeing them in the playoffs, go against the Grizzlies and what they were able to do for all those years and now being a part of it and seeing how hard they work. And, just how great of leaders they are, not just vocally.”
Chiozza said it would be amazing to win an NBA Title with any team, but this group is special.
“They know what it takes to win. They’ve been there, especially the core guys. So, you know, they’re the base and we’re following their lead. So, you know, we got those guys leading us after that. We got a pretty good chance.”
Chiozza and the Warriors host the Grizzlies in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday. Tip off is set for 7:30 CST at Chase Center.