|Full Name||Ja Morant|
|Birthday||August 10, 1999 (age 24)|
|Hometown||Dalzell, South Carolina|
|Draft||2019, Round 1, Pick 2|
|Awards||2020 Rookie of the Year, 2x All-Star (2021, 2022)|
|Career Stats||18.7 PPG, 7.3 APG, 3.9 RPG|
As a long-time fan of Ja Morant, it has been incredible watching him blossom into one of the NBA‘s most dynamic young superstars. Ever since Ja burst onto the scene at Murray State with his electrifying athleticism and stellar court vision, it was clear he was a special talent. Now with the Memphis Grizzlies, Ja has evolved into a franchise cornerstone and must-watch highlight waiting to happen. Let‘s dive deeper into the phenomenal career of Ja Morant!
Dominating High School and AAU
Hailing from Dalzell, South Carolina, Ja Morant flew under the radar early in high school. He dunked for the first time as a sophomore and quickly blossomed into an elite talent. As a senior at Crestwood High School, Ja averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists per game.
Ja also excelled on the AAU circuit playing for the South Carolina Hornets. He led the Hornets to the Fab 48 championship game in Las Vegas. Ja‘s senior year highlight reel of dunks and no-look passes generated lots of buzz.
Breakout College Star at Murray State
Ja decided to play at Murray State, a mid-major program that seemed like the perfect fit for his skills. As a freshman, Ja averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists while leading the Racers to an Ohio Valley Conference title. He continued to turn heads with his athletic, attacking style.
As a sophomore, Ja erupted into a college basketball superstar. He put up 24.5 points, 10 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, becoming the first player in 20 years to average 20 points and 10 assists. Ja earned OVC Player of the Year honors and led Murray State to a dominant 27-5 record.
Drafted 2nd Overall by the Memphis Grizzlies
After his sensational sophomore campaign, Ja declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. The Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 2nd overall pick as the centerpiece of their rebuild. Ja joined Jaren Jackson Jr. to form an exciting, young core in Memphis.
Ja did not disappoint as a highly-touted rookie. He averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Ja shot 47% from the field and displayed his elite court vision with thrilling passes. His athleticism was also on full display with high-flying dunks.
For his efforts, Ja Morant was named the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year in a landslide. He became the first Grizzlies player ever to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Making the Leap to All-Star in Year Two
In his second NBA season, Ja took his game to an All-Star level. He averaged 19.1 points and 7.4 assists per game as he led Memphis to an excellent 31-16 record. The Grizzlies finished with the 2nd best record in the entire NBA in the 2020-21 regular season.
Ja‘s scoring efficiency improved in year two as he shot an outstanding 49% from the field and 44% from 3-point range. He took on a larger scoring role for Memphis while still dishing out assists at an elite rate. Ja earned the first All-Star selection of his career at just 21 years old.
Ja continued to provide jaw-dropping highlights with his speed and hangtime. He also displayed tremendous heart, competitiveness and leadership for a young Grizzlies squad. The future appears exceedingly bright for Ja as he continues to develop his complete game.
The Sky is the Limit
As Ja Morant gains more NBA experience, his ceiling truly seems limitless. He has all the tools – playmaking, scoring, athleticism, leadership – to develop into an MVP candidate and perennial All-Star. I can‘t wait to see what Ja does in his third season and beyond.
One thing is for sure: Ja Morant is must-see television and the future face of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise. It has been a privilege to watch this phenomenal young star grow on and off the court the past few years. The legend of Ja Morant is only continuing to grow and Grizzlies fans have so much to be excited about. Ja‘s journey to superstardom should be thrilling to watch unfold.