Ja Morant lawsuit provides glimpse into his youth, family and a contentious pickup game
During a check-ball sequence to start a game, Joshua Holloway hurled a hard pass from in close that hit Morant in the face, leading Morant to punch the 17-year-old in the chin. Morant's childhood friend Davonte Pack then punched him again, knocking him to the ground, witnesses said. As Holloway was being escorted away, he said he was going to “light up” the place like “fireworks,” according to people who were there.
On Wednesday, lawyers for Morant, 24, and Holloway, now 18, will return to court for a pretrial hearing in a lawsuit the teen filed against the mercurial player. Morant, who was not charged in the Holloway incident, is set to return Tuesday from a 25-game suspension that was levied against him last summer after he flashed a gun in two livestreamed videos. Pack, who was charged with misdemeanor assault before the charge was dropped, is also a defendant in the lawsuit, which seeks damages.
The civil case has provided an intimate look at Morant’s life growing up in a small South Carolina town and the relationships he has built in his five years in Memphis, where he's toed the line between local hero and heavily scrutinized public figure. Court proceedings also have featured re-enactments by lawyers and witnesses of the confrontation, including basketball passes and simulated punches between Morant and Holloway's lawyer.