At about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, Ruby Armour rushed to the end of the line at FedExForum, hoping to secure two free tickets to the Memphis Grizzlies' first home game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ever the optimist, Armour, 51, was at the back of a line that snaked from inside FedExForum, down the steps, meandering south on Third Street and curling around the corner onto Linden.

Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph had bought 500 tickets to give away, two each for the first 250 people.

She wanted a pair.

"I'm a diehard fan and I need some tickets," said Armour, from Hickory Hill. "I have a son who came all the way from overseas playing basketball. I just wanted to get him in as a surprise to see the Grizzlies."

More than eight hours separated Armour from Frederick Scott, 39, of Southeast Memphis, whose group was first in line.

"Six-fifteen this morning, " Scott said of his arrival time.

He waited with his friend, Tyrone Davis, 39, of East Memphis; Davis' daughter, Mami Davis, 10; and his niece, Tykeila Hardaway, 8.

"I saw it on the news and my little girl is a big basketball fan, she loves to play. I asked her if she wanted to come and be one of the first ones in line to see the Grizzlies," Davis said.