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Ja Morant Gives 11-Year-Old Fan Jersey, Sneakers After Autographed Ball Was Stolen

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2023

MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 11: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies gifts his signed jersey and sneakers to fans after the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 11, 2023 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant gifted his jersey and sneakers to 11-year-old fan Ellie Hughes following Wednesday's 135-129 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

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You can't beat moments like this 💙<a href="https://twitter.com/JaMorant?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JaMorant</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BigMemphis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BigMemphis</a> <a href="https://t.co/emDNe6fwME">pic.twitter.com/emDNe6fwME</a>

According to Walter Murphy of Action News 5, Hughes had been collecting autographs on a basketball since she started attending Grizzlies games when she was five years old. A pair of fans stole the ball at Memphis' 121-113 home win over the Spurs on Monday.

Morant heard the story and wanted to buoy Hughes' spirits.

"It's something I pretty much love to do," he said. "You touch somebody's heart like that. A big fan of the Grizzlies for years. It's moments like that that mean the most to them. Something they will never forget."

Morant had 38 points, five rebounds and four assists Wednesday night for the Grizzlies, who are second in the Western Conference with a 28-13 record.

Hughes' family appealed for the ball to be returned the Grizzlies' FedEx Forum's lost and found, adding there would be no questions asked and "no hard feelings," but there has been no public update indicating the ball has been returned.