Thousands say goodbye to Lorenzen Wright at memorial service - - Jackson, MS

Thousands say goodbye to Lorenzen Wright at memorial service

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Thousands gathered at FedExForum for the memorial service. Thousands gathered at FedExForum for the memorial service.

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Family, friends and fans said farewell to former NBA star and Memphis native Lorenzen Wright during a nearly three hour long memorial service Wednesday afternoon.

Through song and prayer, thousands gathered for a memorial celebration at FedExForum to remember Wright.  It was an emotional time for family, friends, and former teammates, who comforted and consoled each other as they paid tribute to the basketball star.

"It's just a sad day," said Michael Ferguson, who was one of thousands who attended the service.

Those who spoke at the service included Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, for former Memphis Tiger Elliot Perry, and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, who offered words of encouragement.

"Justice will be done. That's our pledge," Wharton told those in the audience.

Congressman Steve Cohen recalled the memories Wright created both on and off the court.

"He was ... a great Tiger and a great Grizzly and a great warrior," Cohen said.  "Probably the only individual that's been in high school and in the pros, a hero at all levels here in Memphis, Tennessee."

Wright's body was found July 28th in a wooded area outside Memphis, after he had been missing for 10 days. He was shot to death in what police are calling a homicide. No arrests have been made.

"We went to the site, the murder scene and everything has just been so surreal," said Alena Kelley, who attended the service. "We're just here to show our love and respect and to say that we're going to miss Lorenzen."

The ceremony highlighted many of Wright's accomplishments.  He played for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2001-2006 during his 13-year NBA career. Wright also played for the University of Memphis and Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis.

"I looked at Lorenzen as a son," said former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton.  "Lorenzen was a good guy."

"We just wanted to come out and show our respect and show an appreciation for this legend," attendee Sonia Adams said.

Management for the Memphis Grizzlies will soon be announcing plans to honor Wright during the upcoming NBA season.

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