NBA enthusiasts and Memphis Grizzlies fans are well aware of Ja Morant’s skill set and accomplishments. Amidst all that success comes hard work, and Morant’s background is profiled in the two-part Crackle docuseries “Promiseland.” I’ve seen the first episode of the program, and this project is worth a look at the ingredients behind Morant’s success.
One of the biggest takeaways behind the first episode of “Promiseland” lies in the solid foundation which helped bolster Ja Morant’s confidence and ambition. Father Tee Morant had NBA aspirations but gave them up to help raise Morant. Though Ja’s mother Jamie would ask Tee to ease up on the backyard workouts in Sumter, South Carolina, Tee would not ease up. This hard-nosed approach to training (and not coaching) his son aided Ja’s development as a basketball player while also giving him the freedom to carve out his own path.
Part one of the docuseries also focuses on the underdog background of Ja Morant, as he was not heavily recruited coming out of high school. This proved to be a huge advantage for Murray State and head coach Matt McMahon, as Morant would lead the team to the NCAA Basketball tournament. Drafted #2 by the Memphis Grizzlies, Morant is one of the NBA’s biggest stars in just his second season.
Although they were defeated by a more seasoned Utah Jazz team in this year’s NBA playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies are carving out their own version of the stories “grit and grind” era. Viewers who watch “Promiseland” will realize just how important those summers were in Sumter. Building a basketball court in their backyard was a great investement for the Morant family, and considering Ja’s humble approach to the game, one would assume he continues to train back home when time permits.
Grizzlies teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. states in the documentary that Morant is, at heart, a “pass first point guard.” Though he is athletically gifted beyond belief, Morant’s putting his team first attitude is infused throughout “Promiseland.” Check out the docuseries and tell us what you think!
Murray State head basketball coach Matt McMahon, rapper Moneybagg Yo, teammate Brandon Clarke, Carmelo Anthony and Ja’s younger sister Teniya Morant are among the interviewees featured in the docuseries.
Take a listen to Moneybagg Yo’s new single “Rooke of the Year” from “Promiseland”:
“Promiseland” Part One is now available on Crackle, with Part Two debuting on June 17.
Support Deepest Dream and its two podcasts (CinemAddicts, Find Your Film) by Shopping On Amazon: