Murray State's Ja Morant has exploded on the college basketball scene. So what do some of the people who know him best think of Morant's rise to stardom? The Sumter Item's Danny Kelly posed some questions to four of his teammates at Crestwood High …
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Murray State's Ja Morant has exploded on the college basketball scene. So what do some of the people who know him best think of Morant's rise to stardom? The Sumter Item's Danny Kelly posed some questions to four of his teammates at Crestwood High School.
Rakeem Missingill, Class of 2017, small forward
What was it like playing with Ja?
"It was incredible, actually. He would overcome the competition coming his way. It was unbelievable how he would pull out some of the things he did."
Did you think Ja would be this good?
"Of course! We played in middle school; he's always been the Ja you see today. What he wants, he's gonna go get it. He hasn't been under the radar with us. We knew he had that type of potential in him."
What do you like most about his skillset?
"His handles, oh my goodness! You take (Phoenix Suns shooting guard) Jamal Crawford and (Boston Celtics point guard) Kyrie Irving and mix them all together and you have Ja."
Dakota Jennings, Class of 2017, power forward
"It was fun. He got his teammates involved. He played with good pace and was able to get everybody involved. He was cool on and off the court."
Did you think he'd be this good?
"I knew he would be good in (NCAA) Division I, but I didn't think he would a top-5 (NBA draft) pick. (But) I thought he had potential to make the league."
What do you like about his skillset?
"He can facilitate. He can get everybody involved without making it seem like he's a ball hog."
RJ Scott, Class of 2016, point guard
How was it playing with Ja?
"It was exciting and fun. I learned a lot from him. He was just as competitive in a game as he was in practice. You have to get better with Ja. You have no choice but to get better."
Did you think he would be this good?
"He didn't have the exposure everyone else was getting. I saw him being just as good as he is now in high school."
"He has good basketball IQ. He sees the court well. His athleticism is crazy. He can shoot the ball anywhere on the court."
Jonah Williams, Class of 2016, power forward
"It was great. He made everyone better. He was a phenomenal player. He was entertaining and a great player to have on the team."
"I always said he would be the one from South Carolina, aside from (Duke's) Zion (Williamson) to make the NBA. I knew he'd blow up eventually. He grinded more than the average individual. I wouldn't say I called it, but I am not shocked at all."
"I love the way he plays. He plays selfless. He's entertaining and smooth. It's the way you wanna teach your kids. It's stylish and something you can idolize. You wanna play like that yourself."
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