Video: Ja Morant Explains How Murray State Coach Discovered Him in Auxiliary Gym

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23:  Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers celebrates his three point basket against the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Former Murray State star Ja Morant is expected to be the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft next week, but if Racers assistant coach James Kane had not been hungry one day, who knows what would have come of the guard's basketball career.

In a feature from The Undefeated's Clinton Yates for ESPN's E:60, the story of how Morant was discovered came to light. Morant didn't make the roster at a camp he was attending and subsequently went to a different gym after being dismissed. Kane was there recruiting another player when he felt the need to get some food at a concession stand.

That's when he stumbled upon Morant.

E:60 @E60

Ja Morant was discovered because a @RacersHoops coach was hungry 😂🍿 @clintonyates with the scoop. https://t.co/sBA50Fl3Hw

According to 247Sports, Morant was not rated or ranked coming out of high school.

Kane said he knew Morant was "special" after watching him for a short time. Morant helped the Racers reach the NCAA tournament in each of his two years on campus, even helping them get to the second round for the first time since 2012 this past March. In the process, he became just the eighth player since 1983-84 to record a triple-double in the Big Dance.

While averaging 24.5 points, 10.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore, Morant earned a number of individual accolades: first team All-American, Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and Bob Cousy award winner (best college point guard).

ESPN.com's Jonathan Givony reported in mid-May that the Memphis Grizzlies have indicated they plan to select Morant with the second overall pick on June 20.