In the middle of a promising rookie season in the NBA, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant returned Saturday to his second home at Murray State University where they retired his jersey number.
During his time at Murray State University, Morant helped lead the Racers basketball team to two NCAA tournament appearances, going as far as the Round of 32. During his sophomore season, 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.
Despite his impressive accomplishments on the court, Murray State Racers Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt McMahon says that’s not the only reason the fans packed the CFSB Center.
"We’re here tonight because of the incredible impact you’ve had on Murray State University on and off the basketball court," McMahon said. "We’re here tonight because of all of the number 12 jerseys you see in the stands."
Morant said seeing all of the fans in the arena wearing his jersey is surreal.
"Growing up having favorite players, wearing their jersey, to now have people out here wearing my jersey, that’s what just makes everything so crazy to me because who would’ve known where I would be right now if some things didn’t happen?" Morant said.
Morant was picked second in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. The team currently sits in eighth place in the Western Conference.
Despite a busy basketball schedule and raising a daughter, Morant said he is working on completing his degree from the university.