OVC Player of the Year - now NBA player - Ja Morant received a warm welcome back to Murray State University on Friday.
Murray Mayor Bob Rogers and Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes presented Morant with a key to the city and declared August 23 a day in his honor.
Morant thanked the Memphis Grizzlies for allowing the South Carolina native to come back to his second home in west Kentucky.
“I think I’m going to be here forever,” Morant said. “I’m a Racer for life. I’m just very grateful to be in this family as a Murray State Racer and to meet everybody that I met here and play on the basketball team with these coaches and a great group of guys.”
Morant’s father, Tee Morant, accompanied his son to the event and said he’s proud of him.
“I know the work he put in because I was pretty much the catalyst to push him in the backyard doing all those drills, sometimes till late at night, sometimes till he didn’t want to even do it anymore, but he pushed through and this is the reward for all of his hard work,” Morant said.
Ja Morant helped lead the Racers to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament last spring. He received All-American and All-Conference honors and became the first Division-I player to average 20 points and 10 assists in a single season.
Morant’s visit is part of a Memphis Grizzlies’ Regional Caravan Tour.
The Memphis Grizzlies selected him second in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Morant says he’s excited to take the floor this upcoming season despite not playing in summer league.