Ja Morant has enjoyed two stellar seasons at Murray State with the second season highlighted by a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year award.
But Thursday night, Morant's career will hit overdrive as he will be one of the headliners at the Barclays Center in New York, the site of the NBA Draft.
The Crestwood graduate could go as high as second to the Memphis Grizzlies and that has been the prevailing thought but there have been rumblings some trades at the highest of levels could drop Morant to third or as low as fifth.
Regardless Morant will experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment when he hears his name called and he makes his way across the stage for a handshake and photo opportunity with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
"It's almost surreal for me honestly," Morant said at the NBA Draft Media Day.
"Having to work for everything to be in this position that I'm in right now. It's been crazy but it's been worth it at the same time. It's exciting."
Morant doubled his scoring average in his sophomore season at Murray State to 24.5 points per game and as a result, his draft stock which had been rising continued to the point where he could very well be the second pick in the draft behind his former AAU teammate. All of this success was not totally expected from Morant. Did he think he could play in the NBA? Yes, but did he know he would be at this level?
"I'm not going to even lie to you and say that I did," Morant said.
"But I did know that I would be a great player and was good enough to make it to the NBA.
"Just the opportunity to put Murray State, my city, my state and also my name on the map is just good."
He will follow in the footsteps of another Sumter County product in Ray Allen who starred at Hillcrest of Dalzell before enjoying a Hall of Fame career in the NBA which included a pair of NBA titles and records for his NBA shooting.
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