Grizzlies’ Ja Morant gifts young fan gear after her autographed basketball was stolen

 

An 11-year-old Memphis Grizzlies fan had an exciting evening, days after her autographed basketball was reportedly stolen.

Grizzlies star Ja Morant gifted Ellie Hughes a pair of his game-worn shoes and an autographed jersey following a 135-129 win over the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night.

Ja Morant, #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies, autographs his sneakers for a fan after the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 11, 2023, at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
(Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hughes reportedly had her autographed basketball stolen Monday night during the Grizzlies’ first game of a home-and-home series with San Antonio.

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The young girl had been collecting autographs of Grizzlies players on the basketball since she was five years old, according to Action News 5 in Memphis.

After hearing about the incident, Morant reached out to the family and invited Hughes to Wednesday’s game, which is when he showered her with gifts.

“It’s something I pretty much love to do,” Morant said of his warm gesture. “You touch somebody’s heart like that. A big fan of the Grizzlies for years. It’s moments like that mean the most to them. Something they will never forget.”

Ja Morant, #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies, grabs a rebound during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at FedExForum on January 11, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee.
(Justin Ford/Getty Images)

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Morant also put on a show for Hughes during the game, scoring 38 points on 14-25 shooting, adding San Antonio big man Jakob Poeltl to a poster in the process.

“He was huge for us,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said of Morant. “When he gets to his spots, and he plays at that level, it’s really important to us.”

Ja Morant, #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies, is interviewed after the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 11, 2023, at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
(Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Memphis improved to 28-13 with the win.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.