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Ja Morant Admits To Throwing First Punch In Pickup Game, States It Was In Self-Defense

Ja Morant stepped into a court of law to defend his actions in striking a then-17-year-old player at his house

With an expected return to the basketball court next week in Memphis, Grizzlies player Ja Morant had to first step into a court of law to answer to a lawsuit that was filed against him for striking a then-17-year-old basketball player at his house.

According to ESPN, the lawsuit that was filed in September 2022 regarding an incident that took place in July 2022 has brought Morant to testify at an immunity hearing at Shelby County Circuit Court in Memphis. He claimed that he hit the player, Joshua Holloway, in self-defense, asserting that he hit the teen first “to protect” himself.

The incident happened at Morant’s home during a game of pickup basketball. The Memphis player stated that due to Holloway being frustrated that he had already lost several games, he allegedly threw an aggressive one-handed pass at him when Morant was checking the basketball. He said the ball hit the left side of his face.

Holloway’s attorney, Rebecca Adelman, asked Morant several questions at the hearing.

“You testified that this basketball was a weapon, yes?”

“Yes,” Morant answered.

“A lethal weapon?” she asked.

Morant responded, “It hurt.”

Morant then stated that after the ball was thrown at him, he asked the teenager, “What you on?” Instead of answering, Holloway pulled up his shorts, which he took as an aggressive fighting stance.

“Him pulling up his shorts, where I’m from, that’s a fighting stance,” Morant said. He said that Holloway took a step toward him, and that’s when he threw a punch that connected to Holloway. “I hit him first — to protect myself.”

Morant’s friend, Davonte Pack, then hit Holloway after Morant delivered the first blow.

Morant’s attorneys are attempting to have the case dismissed due to the self-defense argument the basketball player is utilizing.

Tee Morant, Morant’s father, also testified in the case, and there may be other family members, friends, and witnesses who will testify about the incident that took place. Law enforcement officials are expected to testify as well.

If the attorneys are not successful in having the case thrown out, then the trial date could happen in April 2024.

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