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Providing U.S. trademark services throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
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File a Trademark for $399 + $250 Government Filing Fee

Trademark Attorney Working With Clients in Memphis, TN

If you're an entrepreneur, you know that protecting your intellectual property should be high on your list when it comes to safeguarding your company. However, as a successful business owner, you also know the steps and costs of filing a trademark in the U.S. can be expensive and arduous.

This conundrum can be even more overwhelming for new business owners who want to do everything possible to minimize the price of securing trademarks. They try to handle complicated tasks like trademark registration on their own, which can be a big mistake - especially when juggling the day-to-day tasks of running a business. You may be thinking, "But what about those set-it-and-forget-it services you can find online? All you have to do is plug in your info, and you're done." Using pre-made templates for trademark filing can be tempting, but doing so can leave you with inadequate protection and hurt you in the long run.

So, what is the easiest, most cost-effective route to consider that also minimizes legal risk? The truth is, before you spend money on an online filing service, it's best to consult with a trademark attorney working with clients in Memphis, TN.

At Sausser Summers, PC, our experienced trademark attorneys can help you understand the trademark process step by step. We can even help with U.S. trademark filing, U.S. trademark responses, and U.S. trademark renewals at a price you can actually afford. That way, you can make an informed decision regarding your business without having to break the bank.


Sausser Summers, PC: Simplifying the U.S. Trademark Process

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task, but at Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the process as simple and seamless as possible for you. That's why we offer a straightforward checkout service. First, you choose your flat fee trademark service and fill out a short questionnaire. Then, we will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the details of our service. From there, one of our experienced trademark attorneys will get to work on your behalf.

Using a trademark attorney for filing in Memphis, TN, can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. The U.S. government recommends hiring a trademark attorney to help with your application, and our team of trademark lawyers is dedicated to meeting your needs. In fact, we help ensure your application is filed correctly the first time so you can get on with your life and avoid legal risks.

At Sausser Summers, PC, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs and provide them with sound professional advice. We never offer incomplete services, such as simply filing for registration, because that would leave you open to legal risks. You can rely on us to handle your intellectual property matters, and our flat fee services can help protect your business in a simple, straightforward, and affordable way. It's really that simple.

In terms of filing a U.S. trademark, we provide an easy three-step process to protect your intellectual property:

1. You provide your trademark info to our team via an online form.

2. Our team performs a comprehensive trademark search. This search ensures that no other marks will prevent you from registering your trademark in the U.S. Once performed, we'll send you a legal opinion letter that details our findings.

3. Sausser Summers, PC, files your U.S. trademark application. We are then listed as your Attorney of Record on file. From there, we'll provide ongoing updates regarding the status of your trademark as it works through the registration process.

The bottom line? At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Online Trademark Attorney Memphis, TN
The bottom line?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Do I Really Need a Trademark Attorney for Protecting My Business in Memphis, TN?

It's not necessary to be a lawyer in order to apply for a trademark. Anyone can submit a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering a trademark involves more than just filling out a form. It's essential to conduct thorough research, accurately identify and clearly explain your trademark to ensure it receives adequate protection. And even after securing a trademark, you've got to monitor it consistently to make sure it's free from infringement.

The big takeaway here is that it's always a good idea to work with a trademark attorney to protect the intellectual property that you've worked so hard to establish. According to the Wall Street Journal, applicants are approximately 50% more likely to secure their trademark than people who file applications on their own. If your trademark application is rejected by the USPTO, you will need to revise and refile it, incurring additional filing fees. To avoid delays and extra costs, it is best to have a trademark lawyer help you get it right the first time.

Additional Benefits of Using a Trademark Attorney

Great trademark attorneys (like those you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC) will help with every step of filing and enforcing your trademark. Some additional benefits include the following:

Check to see if your proposed trademark is registered by another entity.

Conduct research to see if another business is using the trademark for which you're applying.

Provide advice and guidance on the strength of your trademark.

Draft and submit your trademark applications and application revisions.

Advice and guidance regarding trademark maintenance and protection.

Monitor the market for unauthorized use of your trademark.

Trademark enforcement to protect you against infringement.

 Online Trademark Lawyer Memphis, TN

Curious whether our trademark attorney services are right for you and your business? Contact Sausser Summer, PC, today. Let's talk about what you need, and how we can help.

What About Online Filing Services?

Online services, can provide you with basic assistance in filing your trademark. However, they will never be a legitimate substitute for an experienced trademark attorney helping clients in Memphis, TN.

 Trademark Attorney Memphis, TN

Although online filing services offer a step-by-step process, they take a one-size-fits-all approach to preparing legal documents. Even their advanced service only provides basic attorney assistance in completing your paperwork and helping with minor roadblocks. Online filing services' disclaimer highlights the many limitations of its services, including the fact that communications are not protected by attorney-client privilege. In addition, online filing services cannot provide advice, explanations, opinions, recommendations, or any kind of legal guidance on possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

In other words, online filing services can offer you the necessary forms and point you in the right direction, but they cannot customize their services to your specific needs or help you with serious complications that may arise.

For the most comprehensive trademark service and protection, it's always wise to work with highly rated trademark lawyers, like you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC.

Understanding Trademarks Over Time

Trademarks in the U.S. can last indefinitely, but did you know that clients in Memphis, TN can file a trademark online, only to lose protection in some circumstances? Trademarks differ from patents and copyrights in that they do not have an expiration date. However, to prevent the cancellation of a trademark, you must maintain it. To ensure that your trademark remains protected, you must actively use it in commerce and renew it with the USPTO every ten years.

The Lanham Act tells us that "use in commerce" is the legitimate use of a trademark in the ordinary course of trade. In other words, you cannot register a trademark solely to reserve the rights to it in the future. In most cases, a trademark must be used continuously in connection with the goods or services it is registered for.

 Trademark Law Firm Memphis, TN

Steps to Renew Your Trademark

Trademarks are registered with the USPTO and generally need to be renewed every ten years. However, there is one crucial exception that you should be aware of. Within the first ten years of owning a trademark, you must file for renewal between the fifth and sixth year from the date of your initial registration.

During this renewal period, you are required to submit a Section 8 declaration, a specimen that shows how the mark is being used, and pay the required fee. You can also apply for Section 15 Incontestability status, which can strengthen your trademark rights. This application, although not mandatory, can make it harder for others to challenge your ownership of the mark.

After the first renewal, which falls between the fifth and sixth year of ownership, the next renewal filing is due between the ninth and tenth year, and then every tenth year thereafter. In the ninth year you will need to file a Section 8 declaration, attesting to your use of the mark or excusable nonuse. You've also got to file a Section 9 renewal application before the end of the tenth year to keep your registration active.

It is worth noting that the USPTO provides a six-month grace period if you fail to renew your mark within the required time frame, but it is best not to rely on it. If you don't file within the grace period time limits, the USPTO will cancel and expire your mark.

By hiring trademark attorneys helping clients in Memphis, TN, you can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can arise and cause you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Abandonment

In the event that you stop using your trademark and have no plans to resume using it in commerce, it may be considered abandoned by the USPTO. This could result in the loss of your protective rights to the mark. Typically, a trademark is assumed to be abandoned if it has not been used for three years. However, you may be able to refute this presumption by providing evidence that you intend to use the mark again in the future.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Inappropriate Licensing

In addition to trademark abandonment, you should also be wary of improper licensing. It's important to remember that once you allow someone else to use your trademark, you must keep an eye on how they use it. You should monitor the products or services that feature your trademark to ensure that they meet consumers' expectations in terms of quality. Failure to do so can lead to a "naked" trademark license and the loss of your protective trademark rights.

How to Avoid Having to Refile Your Trademark

If you're wondering how you can avoid refiling your trademark, the answer is simple: file it correctly the first time around. Filing a trademark isn't inherently difficult, but when doing so, it's very important that certain aspects are filled out accurately in your application. If any information is missing or incorrect, the trademark application may be considered "void ab initio" or void from the beginning, requiring you to file again.

To avoid this, make sure that the information you provide in the application is accurate and complete, including the ownership of the trademark. For instance, if a corporation has multiple shareholders, it should not file under the President's personal name. The rightful owner should be the one/entity that ultimately controls the trademark and the associated goods/services.

It is also important to ensure that the goods and/or services description is precise. For example, if you sell electronic products, you should not file for research and development services despite having a research and development department. The goods/services description should reflect the goods/services you offer to customers, not the departments within your business.

Additionally, providing accurate dates of first use when filing for a trademark is crucial. The USPTO requires two dates to be specified - the date of first use anywhere and the date of first use in interstate commerce. Contact our trademark law office today to learn more about having accurate dates on your filing paperwork.

 Trademark Lawyer Memphis, TN
 Trademark Firm Memphis, TN

What Makes an Online Trademark Attorney Great?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we often get questions about how to distinguish run-of-the-mill consultants and others from great trademark attorneys. After all - when you're looking for an attorney to file or prosecute your business trademark, you should know their qualifications. Here are three ways you can separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff when it comes to trademark attorneys.

It's crucial to seek legal advice from a licensed trademark lawyer rather than relying on advice from non-professionals like trademark consultants. The USPTO even recommends hiring an attorney to help with the trademark process. Although trademark consultants may provide advice on trademark availability or name marketability, they cannot file the trademark for you or offer legal advice. According to the Rules of Practicing in trademark cases, "Individuals who are not attorneys are not recognized to practice before the Office in trademark matters." This rule applies to individuals who assist trademark applicants.

When searching for a trademark attorney, it's important to find someone with a strong background in trademark law. Look for an attorney who specializes in this area and has significant experience handling trademark-related cases. Avoid lawyers who don't have expertise in this field, as they may not be able to provide the guidance and support you need.

Ensure your attorney provides updates throughout the trademark registration process to avoid missing deadlines, including responding to any Office actions within six months. Failure to do so can result in trademark abandonment. The USPTO will only correspond with the listed attorney of record, so make sure your attorney keeps you informed.

In summary:

  • Be sure you're using a licensed trademark attorney helping clients in Memphis, TN.
  • It's best to work with a trademark lawyer who has years of experience filing trademarks.
  • Ensure that your trademark lawyer is willing to provide ongoing notifications relating to your trademark application process.
 Trademark Registration Lawyer Memphis, TN

Trademark Attorneys Working Hard for You

Building your brand and gaining recognition for it is a significant achievement, and it's important to protect it. However, there are certain pitfalls and mistakes that can arise, causing you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it. By working with knowledgeable trademark attorneys, you can avoid these issues and file your trademark successfully.

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Sausser Summers, PC, offers comprehensive guidance, strategic advice, and reliable representation for a variety of trademark matters. Our attorneys have years of real-world experience and, having registered countless trademarks with the USPTO, provide our clients with individualized representation when they need it most.

If you're looking for skilled, adept, and experienced counsel, look no further than our trademark law firm. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you safeguard your brand.

Latest News in Memphis, TN

Memphis Grizzlies GM Zach Kleiman addresses Ja Morant's injury status, offseason plans

Damichael ColeMemphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman spoke to reporters for the final time before what's expected to be a busy offseason.It was certainly a busy regular season. Memphis set NBA records by using 33 players on the active ros...

Damichael Cole

Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman spoke to reporters for the final time before what's expected to be a busy offseason.

It was certainly a busy regular season. Memphis set NBA records by using 33 players on the active roster and 51 different starting lineups.

"It's going to be weird this week not signing more 10 days," Kleiman said.

The Grizzlies are projected to own a top-10 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and two second-round picks. Memphis also has decisions to make on key players this offseason.

Here are five takeaways from Kleiman's comments on Monday morning.

Ja Morant injury update

Most of the Grizzlies injury concerns will be solved in a matter of weeks, according to Kleiman. Ja Morant is the only injured player who is expected to have more than a month of recovery time. Morant had surgery on a labral tear in his right shoulder in January and was given a recovery time of six months.

Morant is currently on schedule in his recovery. He's expected to spend most of his time in Memphis rehabbing during the summer.

"I would say he is expected to be fully cleared for basketball activities maybe halfway through the offseason," Kleiman said. "... He's been very diligent with his work. He's been around the team pouring into that everyday."

GIANNOTTO:A Memphis Grizzlies season that led to nothing must eventually mean something | Giannotto

Memphis Grizzlies will add a big man

Jaren Jackson Jr. spent a lot of time at center during the second half of the season. Still, Kleiman said that was more about a developmental opportunity than a hint into a potential shift. Memphis wants to have the optionality of being able to play Jackson at center against certain teams, then be able to move him to power forward when that's the better option.

"We are probably best positioned if Jaren is playing the five," Kleiman said. "From a roster-building standpoint, I think we see the value of having a more traditional or true big. We've seen Jaren successful in those type of lineups as well."

Memphis has a plethora of guards and wings on the roster, but frontcourt depth is a little more shallow after Memphis traded Xavier Tillman Sr. and Steven Adams. Center Trey Jemison is on a two-way contract that extends into next season, and Brandon Clarke performed well in his return.

Kleiman was purposeful about the Grizzlies' intent on adding a player at center. Even if it isn't someone the team expects to start, Memphis will bring in another potential rotation piece.

"I envision we'll add at least one big," Kleiman said. "Whether that's a starting big or a rotation big, I think we have some work to do on the roster there."

"We're not trying to hide the ball on that," Kleiman later added.

Luke Kennard's Grizzlies future unknown

One of the biggest questions remaining this offseason will be how the Grizzlies handle a $14.7 million team option on Luke Kennard. The 6-foot-5 wing has been one of the NBA's top shooters, but his high price tag combined with the expensive salaries of other key players puts the Grizzlies in an unfamiliar situation.

"Luke is someone we continue to feel strongly about," Kleiman said. "Someone who is important for this team and this NBA. We have decisions that we have to make on him coming up."

Wing rotation

Memphis developed more wing depth this season after that being a top priority coming into the season. The emergence of Vince Williams Jr. and GG Jackson to go with Marcus Smart gives Memphis three different kinds of options to play alongside of Morant and Desmond Bane looking forward.

Kleiman sounds more confident in Williams' ability to take major steps forward, but it's clear both Williams and Jackson will get more opportunities.

"He is someone that we have confidence in to play a significant role," Kleiman said. "He can play different kinds of roles, but it will be significant next season."

"GG's opportunity will be what is he ready for. We're certainly going to continue to push GG and challenge him We all see what GG is capable of doing."

GRIZZLIES INJURIES:How Memphis Grizzlies injuries resulted in an unfortunate record-setting NBA season

Memphis undecided on plans for draft pick

While Memphis is projected to have a top-10 pick in the 2024 NBA draft, Kleiman's comments suggest that the team has not made a decision on whether it wants to keep or shop the pick for a potential trade.

The Grizzlies are in a different situation than most teams picking in the lottery. When healthy, Memphis has proven to be one of the top teams in the NBA. If the Grizzlies return to that form next season, they likely won't rely on a rookie to be in a battle-tested rotation unless it's a player who is ready to play.

"I think we're going to be open-minded on what we can do with that pick," Kleiman said.

How the Grizzlies address the draft will also play a role in their plans to add a big man.

Ja Morant's return is still the biggest Memphis Grizzlies offseason storyline | Giannotto

Jaren Jackson Jr. pondered all of the reasons this Memphis Grizzlies season didn’t go as planned, all of the injuries and setbacks that left him alone on the court among this team’s core and could have broken his spirit. How did he stay positive through it all?...

Jaren Jackson Jr. pondered all of the reasons this Memphis Grizzlies season didn’t go as planned, all of the injuries and setbacks that left him alone on the court among this team’s core and could have broken his spirit. How did he stay positive through it all?

That was the question posed to him Monday, now that the entire organization could survey the wreckage with this campaign from hell officially over. The first words of his answer perhaps told the story better than anything else.

“The day we found out about 12,” Jackson said, referring to Ja Morant’s nickname, “that was a low day for everybody.”

That, of course, was back in January, when Morant suffered a season-ending labrum injury that required surgery and this season fundamentally changed. It ultimately forced the Grizzlies to ditch whatever playoff hopes they had. As this group convened one last time before heading their separate ways, it’s an event that still lingers over everything.

The biggest offseason storyline facing the Grizzlies remains the return of Morant, just as it was at the end of last season and the beginning of this one. Everything else this group wants to do can't happen until he’s back to being a superstar, which feels like the lasting impression left by this season.

So there was a lot said during the franchise’s annual end-of-season media availability.

General Manager Zach Kleiman reiterated he’s in the market for another big man. GG Jackson II and Vince Williams Jr. were praised for emerging as bright spots through all the losing, with futures that figure heavily into the Grizzlies’ plans when they might not have if this roster hadn’t resembled a MASH unit the last few months. There’s a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft to consider and back-of-the-rotation decisions to make with a logjam of wings.

But none of it matters without Morant.

A team that was once rightfully hailed as being ahead of schedule is now tasked with making up for lost time, largely because he's played so little over the past 13 months – first because of his own decision-making and then because of awful injury luck.

“Obviously I always want to be out there, fighting with the team,” Morant said Monday in his first comments to reporters since suffering a torn labrum in a workout. “I couldn't, which I had to deal with.”

It’s so hard to deal with the evaluation of the season we all just watched, particularly how it devolved into a parade of 10-day contracts down the stretch. But those first 34 games – the opening 25 when Morant served an NBA suspension for last summer’s second gun incident and the nine he played before getting hurt – shouldn’t be easily forgotten. They were certainly more revealing than anything that happened the past few months.

The Grizzlies looked completely out of sorts without Morant, going 6-19 to begin the season despite having Desmond Bane, Jackson and Marcus Smart in most of those games. The back half of the rotation was a mess, and this was before the injury situation went from bad to worse.

Then, once Morant’s suspension ended, Memphis almost immediately looked a lot like the regular-season juggernaut it was the two seasons prior to this one. It just lasted all of 17 days before Morant was gone again. It seemed so cruel in the moment, and served to reinforce how important Morant – and Morant’s availability – will be after a couple regular seasons in a row in which the Grizzlies found ways to win without him at times.

MORE:Everything Ja Morant said during Memphis Grizzlies' end of season media availability

Kleiman confirmed Morant is on schedule in his recovery from surgery and expects him to be cleared for basketball activities again halfway through the offseason. He also praised Morant’s demeanor and the “significant strides” made off the court after all the tumult that derailed him a year ago. As Derrick Rose put it: “I know a pro when I see one, and he’s a pro.”

“To be able to achieve what we’re setting out to achieve, you have to carry yourself with urgency and purpose, and I think Ja’s doing that,” Kleiman said.

Like Jackson noted Monday, just making the playoffs or getting a top-four seed in the Western Conference isn’t enough anymore for these Grizzlies. Morant, Bane and Jackson are all signed to nine-figure contracts now, and the franchise has all three signed only for the next two seasons.

As good as Jackson and Bane have become, there’s only one way the Grizzlies will reach their lofty goal of bringing a championship to Memphis – through Morant.

"I think we can do it next season, honestly,” Morant said. “God willing, everybody stays healthy.”

They don’t need divine intervention as much as they need him.

You can reach Commercial Appeal columnist Mark Giannotto via email at [email protected] and follow him on X:@mgiannotto

Nuggets wrap up regular season against Grizzlies

It's here. The very last game of the regular season.Here's the injury report for Sunday's game.INJURY REPORTDenver: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — QUESTIONABLE (Right Shoulder Strain) Vlatko Čančar — OUT (Left Knee Surgery) Collin Gillespie — DOUBTFUL (Left Knee Sprain) Aaron Gordon — QUESTIONABLE (Right Foot Strain) Reggie Jackson — QUESTIONABLE (Left Calf Contusion) Nikola Jokić — QUESTIONABLE (Left Hip Inflammation) Jamal Murray — QUESTIONABLE (Right Knee Infla...

It's here. The very last game of the regular season.

Here's the injury report for Sunday's game.


Denver: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — QUESTIONABLE (Right Shoulder Strain) Vlatko Čančar — OUT (Left Knee Surgery) Collin Gillespie — DOUBTFUL (Left Knee Sprain) Aaron Gordon — QUESTIONABLE (Right Foot Strain) Reggie Jackson — QUESTIONABLE (Left Calf Contusion) Nikola Jokić — QUESTIONABLE (Left Hip Inflammation) Jamal Murray — QUESTIONABLE (Right Knee Inflammation) Zeke Nnaji — QUESTIONABLE (Right Adductor Tendinosis) Michael Porter Jr. — QUESTIONABLE (Illness)

Memphis: Santi Aldama — OUT (Right Foot Strain) Desmond Bane — OUT (Lumbar Disc Bulge) Brandon Clarke — OUT (Right Hand Contusion) Jaren Jackson Jr. — OUT (Right Quadriceps Tendonitis) Luke Kennard — OUT (Left Knee Injury Recovery) John Konchar — OUT (Right Plantar Fasciitis) Ja Morant — OUT (Right Shoulder Labral Repair) Derrick Rose — OUT (Right Groin & Low Back Injury Recovery) Marcus Smart — OUT (Right Ring Finger Central Slip Tear) Lamar Stevens — OUT (Left Adductor Strain) Yuta Watanabe — OUT (Personal Reasons) Vince Williams Jr. — OUT (Left Patellar Tendonitis) Ziaire Williams — OUT (Right Low Back Hip Flexor Strain)

The Denver Nuggets head to Memphis to play the Grizzlies... or, what's left of the Grizzlies, whose injury report takes up half of this webpage. Injuries have sadly been the most dominant storyline in Memphis' season. They're 27-54 on the year and have been without franchise superstar, Ja Morant, for all but 9 games.

The Nuggets are 56-25 on the year, the exact same record as the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves. This marks the first time in league history in which three teams, through 81 games, all have the same record and chance to capture the No. 1 seed in their respective conference.

However, Minnesota and Oklahoma City DO hold the tie-breaker over Denver, giving them a leg-up if all three teams remain tied after Sunday's results. Oklahoma City plays the Dallas Mavericks, who are resting most of their players after locking up the five-seed in the West. Minnesota plays a Phoenix Suns team that is currently battling to stay out of the Play-In Tournament.

Denver had a one-game lead over Minnesota and Oklahoma City after defeating the Timberwolves on Wednesday... but then on Friday, they fell unexpectedly to the San Antonio Spurs (21-60) and relinquished that advantage. Now, it's more than likely the Nuggets finish in third place due to the results of the tie-breakers.

You'll notice that most of Denver's rotation is listed as questionable on the injury report. Given how likely the three-seed is, there's a chance the team takes a more cautious approach in the very last game of the season. That remains to be seen. We'll update accordingly if things do change on the injury front.

TUNE-IN: Sunday 1:30 p.m. MT, Altitude TV, and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM

This Memphis woman is connecting overlooked local men's basketball players to the world

Damichael ColeIt was 7:51 p.m. at the Memphis basketball court known as "Penny's Gym" across the street from Central High School when coach Jeremy Bolden’s phone alarm went off in the middle of practice for the Memphis Blues semi-pro basketball team.The alarm was for a meeting with basketball representatives from Thailand set up by Blues team owner...

Damichael Cole

It was 7:51 p.m. at the Memphis basketball court known as "Penny's Gym" across the street from Central High School when coach Jeremy Bolden’s phone alarm went off in the middle of practice for the Memphis Blues semi-pro basketball team.

The alarm was for a meeting with basketball representatives from Thailand set up by Blues team owner Alondray Rogers.

“Give me one second,” Bolden said.

Bolden then pulled three players out of a practice and Rogers, who served as coach the previous six years, took over.

She’s the orchestrator of this operation that's connecting the overlooked of the Memphis basketball scene to the world. Her team is one of the few chances area basketball players who aren't destined for the NBA have to extend their careers after college.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to become a pro athlete,” said Bolden, a 38-year-old who played overseas in the EuroLeague. “A lot of guys have hoop dreams, but they don’t know where to start when you get out of college and you feel like you can take your game to the next level. This is that in-between. This is that space where you can learn the game on the pro level and be exposed to the level of competition you’ll experience in other countries.”

New mission, old school approach

Rogers, 64, finished her college basketball career at Southern Illinois University in 1981 before returning home to Memphis. She then became an assistant coach at Lemoyne-Owen College and later Shelby State.

Her extensive hoops background led to a new mission. She wanted to put together a men’s team. With the lack of women's coaches in the men's game, especially back then, Rogers wasn’t sure if they’d listen to her. So from 1985 until 2017, she settled for a very successful tenure as a championship coach in a local church league.

But then Rogers had a conversation with a Nashville church league coach who suggested she get involved with her own semi-pro basketball team. That’s where most of her basketball attention has been focused since then.

Rogers retired in February after 37 years at UPS, and her office now is often organized basketball runs across Memphis.

“I thought it was good to give back to the city because I love Memphis, there’s a lot of talent here in Memphis, and there are a lot of guys that have been overlooked,” Rogers said. "I thank God for the fact I get to meet each and every one of these guys.”

Rogers brings an old-school approach, and she isn’t easy on her players. She's laid back and doesn't curse, but still embraces the tough conversations that need to happen to make it at the professional level.

Grizzlies roster crunch:The Grizzlies have too many wings. Here's how they can address the logjam in the offseason

After initially funding travel in her first few years coaching semi-pro basketball, Rogers stopped. Moments like that helped her get more out of her players.

“I’m spoiling them,” Rogers said she realized. “I’m not letting them stand up to be a man. So I told them, you’re going to have to invest in yourself. If you’re investing in yourself, you’re going to be committed.”

'She's living out her dream through us.'

Many of the players with Rogers are in their mid to late 20s. During the day, they are teachers, forklift drivers or embarking on other jobs to make enough money to live on. At any given moment, they can get a phone call that gives them a chance to leave and step into the basketball career they've always wanted.

Currently, the Memphis Blues play in the United Basketball League in Dallas. The players drive to Dallas once a month to play two games in a day. Once that season ends, and sometimes during the weeks in between, Rogers will find other games. The team has recently traveled to Alabama, Indiana and Missouri.

"People be thinking she my mama a lot of times when we be going different places,” former Fairley High School and LeMoyne-Owen player Dontarion Wright said.

“Not having a steady college career, being able to have a chance to redeem myself in a sense, she’s been a great advocate for us as players and men,” added former LeMoyne-Owen College guard Aric Bady . “She’s giving us a chance to one day get paid doing the thing we love, which is the end goal.”

Rogers is already helping connect players around the globe.

Former Blues player LeMoyne-Owen's Aston Mortonis is playing overseas in Georgia. Current players like Bolton High graduate Latarius "LT" Lloyd and Wright each have potential opportunities in Thailand soon. Overton High and LeMoyne-Owen alum Martez Briggs, 27, has had professional opportunities in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Wright, 29, has been to El Salvador and earned a tryout with the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League.

“I want to get to Europe or Spain where the big bucks at, and she is putting me in the right places,” Briggs said. "She's a wonderful woman. She's just looking to give back. She's living out her dream through us now."

Moments like these become rewarding. Rogers admits that sometimes the players will make her so mad that she considers quitting. But soon enough, another calls expressing gratitude and gratefulness for her impact, or calls looking for help.

Arrested Development to headline Africa in April: What to expect at this year's festival

Launched in 1986 as both complement and response to the then decade-old Memphis in May International Festival the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival returns Friday through Sunday (April 19-21) to Robert R. Church Park, just east of FedExForum on Beale Street.This year's festival includes a notable musical act: Arrested Development, the Afrocentric Southern hip-hop group that had a Top 10 single in 1992 with "...

Launched in 1986 as both complement and response to the then decade-old Memphis in May International Festival the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival returns Friday through Sunday (April 19-21) to Robert R. Church Park, just east of FedExForum on Beale Street.

This year's festival includes a notable musical act: Arrested Development, the Afrocentric Southern hip-hop group that had a Top 10 single in 1992 with "Tennessee."

Here's what you need to know about the long-running event.

A salute to Gambia

Just as Memphis in May attempts to build cultural and commercial international relations by focusing on a different "honored country" each year, Africa in April annually celebrates a different African nation. This year, the festival salutes the Republic of The Gambia, a small, mostly Muslim nation of about 2.5 million people located in the upper Western portion of the continent. With a short coastline, the country abuts the Atlantic Ocean, but is almost encircled by Senegal. The Gambia previously was honored in 2007 and 1998.

The origin of Africa in April

When David and Yvonne Acey, a husband-and-wife team of educator-activists, founded Africa and April close to 40 years ago, Memphis in May had yet to honor a sub-Saharan African country; Africa in April was an attempt to promote the culture of what seemed to be a neglected part of the world. In the years since, Memphis in May has saluted Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and the Ivory Coast; meanwhile, Africa in April has called attention to Rwanda, Nigeria, Mali, Malawi and other nations.

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Arrested Development

A hip-hop ensemble from Atlanta that for a period in 1992 was one of the most acclaimed and popular musical acts in America, Arrested Development is scheduled to perform a 90-minute set starting at 6 p.m. Saturday in Church Park.

Led by Todd Thomas, who calls himself "Speech," Arrested Development began as an unconventional and diverse collective of rappers, singers, dancers and turntablists whose music offered a message of positivity that was in contrast to much of the more belligerent or aggressive hip-hop of the era. Buoyed by the hit single "Tennessee," the group's 1992 debut album, "3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of...," sold 4 million copies and won two Grammy awards. It was named best album of the year in the prestigious annual critics' poll conducted by the Village Voice, and attracted praise from Spike Lee and Bob Dylan. Follow-up records failed to achieve the debut's success, but Arrested Development, in various configurations, has soldiered on.

What else to expect at 2024 Africa in April festival

The festival will take place primarily in Church Park, from 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday; from 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday; and from about 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is free Friday until 4 p.m., and $10 after that. Admission is $10 on Saturday and Sunday.

Vendors selling Gambian food, fashion, arts, crafts and more will be stationed throughout the park, alongside booths offering many different products and types of cuisine.

An "International Diversity Parade" is set to begin at 10 a.m. Friday, which has been dubbed "Children and Seniors Day" (hence, the free admission for most of the day). School groups and youth performers will take part in the parade.

Many dancers and musicians will perform in the park over the three days of the festival (Sunday is "Gospel, Jazz and Reggae Day"). In addition to Arrested Development, featured acts include Tropix; Eye 2 Eye; the Shaka Zulu Dancers; drum master Ekpe Abioto; the Tennessee Mass Choir; the Orange Mound Energizers; Black Dogg and the Echoes; and numerous school bands and choirs, to name a few.


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