When it comes to the most under looked, underrated guards in the world, Ja Morant is in my top 10. Going to Crestwood High in small town Sumter,South Carolina, Ja Morant was a three year All-region Most Valuable Player with All-State honors. With all of the accolades and local fame of former AAU teammate of Duke phenomenon Zion Williamson, Morant was lightly recruited by Division programs and unranked by recruiting services. However he still earned his way to be a part of the Murray State Racers.
Freshman year Ja Morant made an instant impact as he led the Racers into March Madness and punched them a ticket after securing the OVC Championship over Belmont, a mid major program and somewhat regular come March. Having a good initial season, Morant earned first-team All-OVC and OVC All-Newcomer team awards. He would go into the tourney against higher seeded West “Press” Virginia, and post up 14 points, averaging 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists as a freshman. Not bad. But Ja was only getting started, and it looked like he wanted to shake things up.
His next season looked promising,and was it ever! I guess the radar finally picked up on Mr. Morant because going into his sophomore season, he was one of twenty players to get invited to Chris Paul’s Elite Guard Camp. Such an honor humbled him, but also woke a beast that the NCAA had never seen before. Now, the OVC isn’t a major conference, it is actually a 1-bid conference, but when you dominate your opponents on the schedule who are in and out of the conference, you start to gain some attention. Attention is exactly what Ja Morant got after 30-point games, triple doubles, and monster dunks being played over and over. The NBA radar was working and it couldn’t miss a diamond this bright. With the end of the sophomore season, we had the OVC Player of the Year and the NCAA assists leader. Not to mention, another bid to March Madness where he posted another triple double, putting his name up there with some other prominent ballers. So, once he declared for the NBA Draft, what would the guard-driven League expect to see?
An absolute beast. The Memphis Grizzlies drafted Ja Morant with the second overall pick, behind Zion Williamson. Not many will complain especiall since Ja Morant is averaging 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and Zion is Zion. Currently, he’s leading all rookies in scoring. But that’s not the main attraction here. He is also leading the Grizzlies to a potential playoff spot as they are in the hunt for the 7th and 8th seed. His flashy dunks, crazy athleticism, smooth, crisp handles are amazing. Some would even call his play “Ja Dropping.”
Whether you call him Ja Morant, Ja Dropper, or Ja-Broni, everyone will soon be calling him their favorite player. Who knows, maybe you’ll call him the best point guard in the Western Conference in a couple of years. But for now, you’ll be calling him this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year, when the time comes of course.