Temetrius Jamel “Ja” Morant was born on August 10th, 1999, in Dalzell, South Carolina. Morant’s parents were both athletes, with his father having played in the NBA. Ja attended Crestwood High School and is the all-time leading scorer with 1,679 points. In his final two seasons, he averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. He was a three-time All-Regional MVP.
Morant chose Murray State as his college, and in his first season, he averaged 22.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game and ranked 14th in the nation in assists. In his sophomore season, Morant averaged 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 10 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He became the first NCAA player ever to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in a single season. It was his final season as he decided to enter the NBA Draft.
Morant was drafted 2nd overall in the 2019 draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. He would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award and averaged 17.8 points per game, and led all rookies with 7.1 assists per game. In the 2021-2022 season, Morant took it to another level. He averaged 27.4 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals (all career highs) to go along with 6.7 steals. The effort was rewarded with the Most Improved Player Award. He led the Grizzlies into the West Semifinals and has become a must-see.
By STEVE FARACE