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Ja Morant delights Grizzlies fan whose signed basketball was stolen

Ja Morant came to the rescue when 11-year-old Ellie Hughes had her signed basketball stolen, making sure she got another memento.

Ja Morant delights Grizzlies fan whose signed basketball was stolen

Ja Morant knew he needed to do something after learning that a young Memphis Grizzlies fan had her signed basketball stolen. Morant came to the rescue on Wednesday night when he gifted the family courtside seats and later presented 11-year-old Ellie Hughes with a signed shirt and a pair of personalised, as yet unreleased Nike Ja 1 shoes, saying he hoped it eased the pain she felt after her prized ball was swiped.

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Young basketball fan Hughes who, according to local media reports, has not missed a Grizzlies home game in six years, had been collecting signatures on a team ball. It was stolen during Monday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs, which prompted Morant to act, knowing he could make the situation better.

Morant's Ja 1s
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Signed Ja 1s

He explained: “Obviously I feel like I come from a good home with great parents, and it’s pretty much something I love to do. You’ve touched a mighty heart like that, a big fan of the Grizzlies for years. It’s moments like that, that mean the most to them, something they’ll never forget, something they’ll remember the rest of their life. It’s not a lot of people who’ve got a game-worn signed Ja jersey and there’s definitely not a lot of people who have signed Ja 1s.

“After seeing what happened to them on social media, I just felt terrible. Obviously it’s been years she had that ball, and had the opportunity to get autographs of great players, and to have that taken away from her, I feel it was unacceptable. I tried to get in contact with the family, I reached out and offered them two of my courtside seats and told them after the game I would give them my jersey and shoes, so definitely a good feeling to have them there supporting us and see the smile on their face out there.”

Grizzlies on a roll

Morant was on top form as the Grizzlies toppled the Spurs again on Wednesday, scoring 38 points in a 135-129 win. The Grizzlies are flying high, sitting second in the Western Conference with the same 28-13 record as leaders the Denver Nuggets.

Despite their strong season, Morant says there remains room for improvement, pointing to occasional “mental lapses” and saying Memphis “need to be a little more locked in and paying attention to detail”. He concluded, “Fatigue can play a part. I feel like if we want to be a great team, no matter what, we have to do that day in and day out, for 48 minutes. That’s pretty much really just the area I think we can get better.”


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