Grizzlies’ Ja Morant cements status as Murray State great with ultimate honor

Guard Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies has had a difficult couple of years between suspensions and a season-ending injury. But the rising star recently received the greatest distinction from his alma mater, which is encouraging for him.

Using their X account, Murray State revealed on Saturday that Morant has been inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was even called “the best to ever do it” by the Racers. It’s fair that fans may have forgotten about that phase of his career given how long it has been since the South Carolina native set the NCAA world on fire with electrifying highlights every single day. Still, this is a great chance to explore the archives.

Morant returns to action, coming off the bench for Grizzlies

There is enough material from Morant’s college years to make a documentary. Though it may seem absurd today, the two-time NBA All-Star was overlooked throughout the collegiate recruiting process. The leader of the Grizzlies was not listed by ESPN, 247 Sports, or Rivals as a top recruit, and the sole high-major offer he received came from South Carolina. But often the most valuable stones are the ones that are still in the rough.

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In a plot twist straight out of a Hollywood film, Murray State happened to stumble onto Morant. While getting a snack at a basketball camp, James Kane, the assistant coach for the Racers, observed him standing out in a three-on-three game. After speaking with head coach Matt McMahon, Kane extended an offer of a scholarship to Morant. History is what’s left.

Ja Morant in Murray State jersey and crown on his head
Morant made his mark right away, winning a game against Eastern Illinois on December 28, 2017, and achieving the second triple-double in school history. With a regular season average of 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists, he was named to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) first team and the OVC All-Newcomer Team. Although the Racers were eliminated in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round, they were only setting the stage for an incredible season that was still to come.
In his sophomore year, Morant elevated his game significantly, taking the lead in assists in the NCAA and winning OVC Player of the Year. Additionally, during a season, he became the first player in the NCAA to average 20 points and 10 assists per game. As if that weren’t enough, the powerful slasher was named to the United States Basketball Writers Association’s first team All-American and first team All-OVC. Despite only playing two seasons, Morant finished with the most career assists in school history after losing to Florida State in the Round of 32, according to

Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) attempt a layup against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during the second half of game in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at XL Center.
Murray State AD Nico Yantko stated, “When you think of the all-time greats that have played basketball at Murray State, Ja Morant will always be one of the first names to come up.” “What Ja has accomplished in his two years at Murray and his current success in the NBA is just amazing, and his play and production have greatly increased awareness of our university and department.” We are excited to finally get the chance to induct one of the greatest Racers players of all time into our Hall of Fame. We knew that Ja was an unquestionable first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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In addition to being undeniably the greatest player in school history, Murray State’s career serves as a reminder to prospective players throughout the country that the only thing standing in their way is themselves. Being slept on is only a chance to disprove people; it’s not a death sentence.