The Grizzlies superstar made the block of the season recently, leaping from the middle of the paint to grab Avery Bradley’s layup with two hands in mid-air. But what is Ja Morant’s vertical and how high can he actually jump?
Ja Morant is having an All-NBA type year and propelling the Grizzlies into contention in the Western Conference standings. Entering Sunday’s matchup with the Lakers, Morant was averaging a career-high 25.2 points, 6.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is also having career highs in field-goal percentage (.491) and 3-point percentage (.390) to compound his stellar season.
However, the play of the night, heck, maybe even the season, was his physics-defying chase down block on Avery Bradley. After his insane leap, we explore Ja Morant’s vertical and how high he can actually jump.
Ja Morant’s block was one of the most athletic plays you’ll see this year
Without wishing to curse him, Ja Morant’s explosiveness and athletic ability for a point guard is reminiscent of Derrick Rose during his 2011 MVP year.
But it’s not just on the offensive end where Ja is a menace, as his ungodly block on Avery Bradley recently demonstrated. In the first quarter of the Grizzlies game vs the Lakers, Morant chased Bradley down, jumping from out of nowhere to not only block the shot, but catch it with two-hands in mid-air. It was a stunning block that most of the Lakers couldn’t even believe happened.
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What is Ja Morant’s vertical jump?
After the play, fans were curious about what Ja Morant’s vertical is. The 6ft 3in guard has a 6ft 7in wingspan and a leap few others can match.
Before being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies, Ja Morant’s standing vertical leap was 44 inches. For reference, Russell Westbrook, who Ja is often compared to, holds a 42in vertical. The average NBA vertical is 28in so that gives you some indication as to how high Ja Morant’s leap actually is.
Meanwhile, the highest recorded vertical jump belongs to Michael Jordan at 48in, so Ja isn’t even that far off the GOAT.
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Not only can he jump out of the building, Morant is also lightning quick. Morant didn’t participate in the on-court drills at the NBA Draft Combine, but his speed is well in the elite category, along with the likes of John Wall, Russell Westbrook, De’Aaron Fox and Darius Garland.
While we have no definitive measurement, Morant reached a sprint speed of 17.2mph in May 2021, giving some indication of his pace. According to NBA 2K22, Morant is the third-fastest player in the game, with a 92 speed, and a 92 speed with the ball (only Westbrook and Fox are rated higher for speed).
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How high can Ja Morant actually jump?
Morant has been honing his athleticism from an early age, and would practise dunking almost every day, which included jumping on tires. Tee Morant, Ja’s father, gave some insight into his son’s early practices during an interview.
Ultimately, we don’t know the ceiling for Ja’s leap, and how high he can actually go. However, it’s clear that not even a 7-footer is going to stop Morant from exploding to the basket.
During a recent win over the Cavs, Morant put the league – and especially its big men – on notice, saying: “I don’t fear nobody, dawg. I don’t care if you 7ft 7in or whatever, I’m coming straight at you.”
Morant then responded to his quotes on Twitter by retweeting the video with the caption: “Why should I be scared? We put our shoes on the same way.”
But will we ever see Morant in the dunk contest? Maybe then we could get a true sense of his jumping ability. Well, the Grizzlies star was recently asked if he’d join the NBA’s dunk contest during All-Star weekend. However, he gave a rather disappointing answer, responding with the following GIF.
We can only hope he changes his mind. For now, though, we’ll have to settle for more of these ‘Ja dropping’ pregrame dunks.