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Ja Morant

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Ja Morant

Temetrius Jamel Moran, called as Ja Morant  (born August 10, 1999) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Murray State Racers, where he was a consensus first-team All-American as a sophomore in 2019.

He was selected by the Grizzlies with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft and named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020.


No. 12 – Memphis Grizzlies
Position Point guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born August 10, 1999 (age 22)
Dalzell, South Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 174 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Crestwood (Sumter, South Carolina)
College Murray State (2017–2019)
NBA draft 2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies
Playing career 2019–present
Career history
2019–present Memphis Grizzlies

  • Early Life and High School Career

Morant was born in Dalzell, South Carolina, to Tee and Jamie Morant. His mother was a point guard in high school and a softball player in college, while his father was a high school teammate of Ray Allen and played basketball for Claflin University.

He trained in his backyard with his father, who taught him step-back jump shots and bought tractor tires for him to practice jumping with a soft landing. In his childhood, he often faced older opponents, telling his mother, “I’m not worried about the big kids.” Morant played in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit with the South Carolina Hornets, a small grassroots team based in Columbia, South Carolina.

He attended Crestwood High School in Sumter, South Carolina. He grew from 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) to 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) in his first three years with the basketball team. Morant left as its all-time leading scorer, with 1,679 points and set a career-high with 47 points against Sumter High School. In his final two seasons for Crestwood, he averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists per game, earning South Carolina Class 3A All-State honors in both years. Morant also left high school as a three-time All-Region Most Valuable Player (MVP). Morant could not dunk until he was a senior.


  • Personal life

Ja Morant has a younger sister, Teniya, who grew up playing basketball with him in their backyard and now competes for Hillcrest Middle School in Dalzell. He has the words “beneath no one”, advice his mother gave him, tattooed to his left arm. Morant’s favorite artist is rapper Lil Baby. Morant’s athleticism often draws comparisons to point guard Russell Westbrook, who Morant said is his favorite player because Westbrook is often overlooked, just like he was by college recruiters in high school.

Morant has a daughter, Kaari Jaidyn Morant. She was born in 2019.


  • College career

  • Freshman year

On November 10, 2017, Morant debuted for Murray State with 7 points and a team-high 11 assists in a 118–61 victory over Brescia University of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). He recorded his first career double-double on December 12, 2017, with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists in a 69–55 loss to Saint Louis.

He became the seventh freshman in 25 years to accumulate 150 assists, 150 rebounds, and 10 blocks while shooting at least 42 percent from the field. Morant and Murray State advanced to the NCAA Tournament his freshman season after capturing an OVC Championship in a 68–51 win over Belmont.

  • Sophomore year

In his season debut, he recorded 26 points and 11 assists in a 74–53 win against Wright State. On November 24, 2018, Morant posted 29 points, a season-high 13 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 77–66 win over Missouri State, becoming the first Murray State player to ever record multiple triple-doubles.

On January 10, 2019, Ja Morant was named to the midseason top 25 watch list for the John R. Wooden Award. On the same day, he broke the school record for most assists in a single game, with 18, while scoring 26 points against UT Martin. He broke the OVC record for most consecutive free throws made in a game, and he became the tenth player in Murray State history to record a 40-point game.

At the end of the regular season, he was named OVC Player of the Year and first-team All-OVC, while leading the NCAA Division I in assists. He later earned first-team All-American honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association and second-team All-American honors from Sporting News.

Following Murray State’s loss in the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Ja Morant announced his intention to forgo his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2019 NBA draft, where he was selected as the second overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies. Morant was selected to the Rising Stars Game for the 2019–20 season.


  • Professional Career

  • Memphis Grizzlies (2019–present)

  • 2019–20 season

Morant was drafted second overall during the 2019 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. On July 2, 2019, Morant signed a two-year contract worth $17,897,040 with the Grizzlies. October 23, 2019, Morant made his debut in NBA, starting in a 101–120 loss to the Miami Heat with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block. On February 9, 2020, Morant scored his first career triple-double in a 106–99 win over the Washington Wizards.

  • 2020–21 season

On December 23, 2020, Morant recorded a career-high 44 points, alongside nine assists, two rebounds, and two steals in a 131–119 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

On May 21, 2021, in the newly implemented Play-In Tournament, with the eighth and final playoff spot on the line, Morant recorded 35 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, to lead Memphis to a 117–112 overtime win over the Golden State Warriors, securing the Grizzlies’ first postseason berth in four seasons.

  • 2021–22 season

On October 20, 2021, in the Grizzlies’ season-opener, Morant recorded 37 points and six assists in a 132-121 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. October 24, he scored 40 points, while dishing out 10 assists in a 121–118 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. On December 29, Morant put up a season high 41 points, behind a career-high six made three-pointers, to lead Memphis to a 104–99 victory over the Lakers.


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Content available under the (CC BY SA 3.0), via Wikipedia

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