Former Crestwood standout Morant helps Memphis children go shopping


Ja Morant is starting to become a part of the community in his new home - Memphis, Tennessee - so much so that he helped 25 Memphis-area children get ready for school on Monday.

Morant, the former Crestwood High School standout who was the second overall pick in the National Basketball Association draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, partnered with Academy Sports + Outdoors to give each of the children from the Ira Samelson Jr. Boys & Girls Club a $100 gift card to purchase necessities for the new school year.

"It's an opportunity for me to give back," Morant told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Morant walked throughout the store to help the children with their shopping.

"I just love kids," Morant said. "I once was a kid that looked up to certain NBA players. I didn't have the opportunity to do this. Since Day 1, Memphis took me in and showed me good and took me in as family."

Morant, who turned 20 on Aug. 10, is preparing for his first season in the NBA. Morant had a breakout sophomore season with Murray State that catapulted him up the NBA draft charts.

He was selected behind Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Morant earned 13 total All-American honors last season, including first-team honors from The Associated Press, Basketball Times, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, the Lute Olson Award, NABC, Sports Illustrated, USBWA and the Wooden Award and second-team honors from NBC Sports, Sporting News, Stadium and USA TODAY Sports.

Morant averaged 24.5 points and 10 assists per game as a sophomore, making him the first player in college basketball history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists in a season since the assist became an official stat in 1983-84.

He also won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard.