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Murray State to retire Ja Morant’s No. 12

Grizzlies, Murray State, Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is set to receive one of the highest honors for any college athlete, as Murray State is planning to retire his No. 12 jersey.

Murray State head coach Matt McMahon stood before members of the media on Tuesday morning to make the announcement, noting that Morant’s jersey will be retired in a special halftime ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 1.

“From 2017 to 2019, we had the privilege of coaching one of the best players in college basketball history,” McMahon said during his presser. “All of the awards, amazing statistics and championships only tell part of the story.

“Ja Morant made a lasting impact on our basketball program, Murray State University and the entire Murray, Kentucky community,” McMahon added. “Ja Morant’s journey has been an inspiration to millions of people, and he continues to be a great ambassador for the Racers across the country and around the world.”

Now obviously with the Grizzlies, Morant played two seasons at Murray State, earning All-OVC First-Team nods and an OVC Player of the Year Award. As a freshman, he led the Racers to an an OVC Championship, then on to the NCAA Tournament, where they were defeated by West Virginia in the first round. The South Carolina native averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game in that season. Notably, his 6.3 assists per outing ranked 14th in the nation.

Though his freshman numbers were solid, Morant’s game reached new heights as a sophomore. By this time, NBA scouts had him on their radar, noting that he should be viewed as a top-5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He went on to claim several school and conference records, including those for assists and consecutive free-throws made.

Morant’s success was a big deal, as he played for a mid-major program. His numbers went way up in his sophomore season, as he turned in averages of 24.5 points, 10.0 assists 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals. As a result, he became the first NCAA player to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in a single season.

The Grizzlies selected Morant with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 Draft. So far, he’s proving to be one of the best players of his class. In fact, he’s at or near the top of several statistical categories for this crop of rookies. He’s currently 1st in total assists (285), 2nd in total points (703) and 6th in steals (40).

Join us in congratulating Morant for this distinguished honor.