Ja Morant to Have No. 12 Murray State Jersey Retired February 1

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2020

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23:  Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers attempts a free throw against the Florida State Seminoles in the second 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

Murray State head basketball coach Matt McMahon announced Tuesday the program will retire the No. 12 jersey of former Racers and current Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant on Saturday at halftime of the team's game against SIU-Edwardsville.

Morant shined across two seasons with the Racers, earning consensus first-team All-American honors during the 2018-19 college basketball season, before getting selected by the Grizzlies with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

The 20-year-old Georgia native was also named the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and earned first-team All-OVC honors in both his seasons with the Racers.

He helped lead Murray State to the NCAA tournament in both his seasons at the collegiate level, and the Racers upset fifth-seeded Marquette in the opening round of the 2019 edition of March Madness.

Earlier this month, Morant's NBA team held "Murray State Night with the Memphis Grizzlies," a chance for diehard fans from the small Kentucky-based school to make the trip to see the point guard's evolution toward stardom at the professional level.

"It was an emotional night, obviously," Morant told reporters. "I couldn't show it much, but very thankful for Murray and the Grizzlies for everything they've done for me."

He's in the midst of a terrific rookie campaign, averaging 17.6 points, 7.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds across 40 appearances for Memphis, which currently owns the eighth spot in the Western Conference at 22-24.

But Saturday night he'll be back at the CFSB Center to see his No. 12 retired. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, with coverage on ESPN Plus.

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