10 Fascinating Ja Morant Facts for Kids (2023 Updated)
Ja Morant is a young basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies. He was born in 1999 and comes from a family that loves sports. Even though he wasn’t famous in high school, he worked hard and got an excellent shoe deal with Nike. He has a very inspiring background that proves hard work and perseverance pay off!
10 Facts about Ja Morant for Kids
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a basketball sensation in the NBA?
Well, it’s time to meet Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies’ rising star who’s taking the league by storm. In this exciting journey, we’ll explore some fun facts about Ja Morant, about his humble beginnings and his journey to his jaw-dropping performances on the court.
Let’s dive right into 10 must-know facts about Ja Morant!
1. Early Life and Hoop Genes
Ja Morant, whose full name is Temetrius Jamel Morant, was born on August 10, 1999, in Dalzell, South Carolina. He comes from a family with a background in sports.
His father, Tee Morant, was not just any basketball player – he was a high school teammate of none other than the NBA legend Ray Allen at Hillcrest High. Later, Tee played college basketball for Div. II Claflin University. So, you could say basketball runs in the Morant blood!
2. A Zion Connection
Before Ja Morant and Zion Williamson became NBA stars, they crossed paths during their high school days. In fact, when Morant was a sophomore, he played alongside Williamson on a regional team called the South Carolina Hornets.
Interestingly, they both had to commute roughly 45 minutes to Columbia for their games. Little did they know, they were destined for greatness!
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3. The Late Bloomer’s Dunk Saga
Ever thought NBA players could dunk effortlessly since they were kids? Well, Ja Morant breaks that stereotype. He couldn’t dunk until the summer before his senior year in high school. Imagine that!
He estimates that he stood at around 5-foot-10 in the summer of 2016 and could barely make one dunk out of 25 tries. Talk about determination!
4. Overlooked Prospect to College Discovery
When Morant finished high school, he wasn’t exactly a highly sought-after prospect. In fact, the major recruiting services didn’t even rank him. But here’s where fate stepped in. Murray State University accidentally discovered him when assistant coach James Kane attended a camp to scout a different player.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little accident to change your life’s course!
5. Racing at Murray State
Morant didn’t take long to make an impact at Murray State University. As a freshman, he started in all 32 games and averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game during the 2017-18 season. But it was his sophomore year that sent his draft stock soaring.
He averaged an incredible 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 10 assists per game, leading the nation in assists. Morant even bagged the prestigious Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard.
6. March Madness Moments
March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, is where legends are born. Ja Morant had his share of memorable moments in the tournament. He led Murray State to the second round in 2019 after recording the ninth triple-double in tournament history.
It’s on the big stage that Morant truly shined!
7. Just Do It: The Shoe Deal
Being the first member of your NBA Draft class to secure a shoe deal is a remarkable achievement. Ja Morant accomplished just that when he signed with Nike. He announced on social media, expressing his pride in working for the check. His hard work had finally paid off.
8. Family Values and Motivation
Unlike many young athletes who idolise NBA stars, Ja Morant finds his motivation closer to home. He looks up to his dad, Tee Morant, as his role model. Morant says, “That’s my motivation. It’s like I’m living my dream and his dream through me right now.” Talk about making your parents proud!
9. Head of the Rookie Class
During the 2019-20 NBA season, Ja Morant and Zion Williamson were the two rookies everyone had their eyes on. Although Williamson made a strong push towards the end of the season, it was Morant who emerged as the Kia Rookie of the Year.
He led all qualified NBA rookies in scoring (17.6 ppg) and assists (6.9 apg) while shooting an impressive 49.1 per cent from the field in 59 games. Morant joined the ranks of Pau Gasol as the only Rookie of the Year winner in franchise history.
10. A Place in Play-In History
In the 2020-21 season, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies did something amazing. They played so well that they got into a l tournament called the State Farm NBA Play-In. They won against the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, earning a spot in the playoffs.
In one game, Ja Morant scored a lot of points, 47, which was super impressive, just like legendary players before him, like George Mikan.
When was Ja Morant born?
Ja Morant was born on August 10, 1999, in Dalzell, South Carolina.
Who was Ja Morant’s high school teammate?
Ja Morant’s father, Tee Morant, was a high school teammate of NBA legend Ray Allen at Hillcrest High.
How did Ja Morant secure his first shoe deal?
Ja Morant became the first member of his NBA Draft class to secure a shoe deal with Nike.
What award did Ja Morant win in the 2019-20 NBA season?
Ja Morant was named the Kia Rookie of the Year, leading all qualified NBA rookies in scoring and assists.
Ja Morant’s incredible journey from a late-dunk bloomer to NBA Rookie of the Year must be taken as a source of inspiration. His impact on the court and historic playoff performances have solidified his position as a rising star in the NBA.
So, huddle up, kids and march to the basketball court! And do not forget to chase your dreams.