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Memphis zoo names newest giraffe after Ja Morant, “Ja Raffe”

The newest addition to the Memphis Zoo is named after one of the best basketball players to ever come through Murray State.

“Ja Raffe” the baby giraffe was introduced this morning, named after Memphis Grizzlies star and NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant.

“We have some new hooves on the African Veldt,” the Memphis Zoo announced. “His name is Ja Raffe to celebrate [Memphis’ Ja Morant] winning NBA Rookie of the year.”

The baby giraffe even got his own introductory video to announce his addition into the zoo’s official roster, height and weight included.

“Good evening and welcome to the excitement of the Animal Kingdom and the Memphis Zoo. Let’s meet the newest member of the Memphis Zoo roster. At 6-3, 140 pounds, here is… Ja Raffe.”

The former Murray State star was quick to welcome the baby giraffe into the Memphis family.

‘”Ja”raffe was born a legend!” Morant said on Twitter.

The giraffe calf, one of seven in the herd at the Memphis Zoo, was born Nov. 10.

Here he is on exhibit just earlier today:

As for Morant, from the beginning of the 2019-20 season through March 11, the Grizzlies star led all qualified NBA rookies in scoring  at 17.6 PPG and assists at 6.9 APG, along with shooting 49.1 percent from the field in 59 games.  In that span, the former Racer was one of just three NBA players to average at least 17.0 points and 6.0 assists and shoot 49.0 percent or better from the field, joining LeBron James and Nikola Joki?.

Through March 11, the Rookie of the Year recorded a rookie-high 11 double-doubles and produced the only triple-double by a rookie when he finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the Washington Wizards on Feb. 9. He had at least 20 points and 10 assists in seven games, including a 27-point, 14-assist performance against the Lakers on Feb. 29.

And now, he has a giraffe named after him.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

1 Comment for Memphis zoo names newest giraffe after Ja Morant, “Ja Raffe”



  1. Richd23
    1:52 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Nice story. As a Murray State grad, proud of what Ja has accomplished. Good luck for the 20-21 season.