The story of Ja Morant’s recruitment can serve as a lesson to all: When your body tells you to go grab some chips and a drink, do it.
Murray State men’s basketball assistant coach James Kane recalled to E:60 how he discovered the soon-to-be NBA player almost by accident during a basketball camp.
Kane was recruiting a different player in the main gym when he went to the concession stand.
“I ordered some Doritos and a soda,” he said. “I was able to hear the balls bouncing in the auxiliary gym.”
He looked onto the court and saw Morant, then an unranked combo guard at Crestwood (Sumter, South Carolina).
“Just a few minutes of watching Ja, you just knew he was special,” Kane said.
Apparently, Kane was one of the only ones who realized this. Despite averaging 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game over his junior and senior years of high school, Morant had just one high-major Div. 1 offer (South Carolina) and five offers from other programs, including Murray State, according to Prep Hoops.
His mother was so uninformed about the recruitment process she asked if the scholarship was for four full years.
“I just started laughing,” Kane said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s four-year scholarship, but he’s only going to be there two years.'”
— E:60 (@E60) June 15, 2019
His prophecy came true. After averaging 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists as a freshman, Morant blew up his sophomore year, becoming the first NCAA player to ever average 20 points and 10 assists per game. He also increased his 3-point shooting from 30.7% to 36.3%.
Morant posted a triple-double in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and led Murray State to the second round.
It is assumed the Memphis Grizzlies will draft him with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday.
And all that started because a coach wanted some Doritos.