Ja Morant is keen on taking over the league, and he’s not that far away from making that happen. Not only does Morant make game-winning plays, he often does it with murderous intentions, thanks to his athletic gifts and jumping ability.
Speaking of jumping ability, how high is Ja Morant’s vertical, and how does it compare with the all-time best leapers like Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and LeBron James? Let’s find out.
What is Ja Morant’s Vertical Leap?
Every NBA fan, whether they like the Grizzlies or not, has seen Ja Morant’s poster dunks. And honestly, who can forget that Ja Morant vertical block on Avery Bradley? These plays beg the question, how high can Ja Morant really jump?
Before the 2019 NBA Draft, Morant reportedly recorded a standing vertical of 44 inches working out for the Grizzlies. That’s the only official record of Ja Morant’s vertical, but here’s the rub: That’s only his standing vertical, which means he jumped 44 inches at a standstill! There is no official record of his running vertical yet, but it’s safe to say he could add a couple more inches easily.
In comparison, the NBA’s average vertical jump is 28 inches. Morant’s bounce is almost a full two feet more than the average NBA player. This leaping ability allows him to explode and dunk over 7-footers relatively easily.
So, how does Ja compare with the all-time leapers? LeBron James was said to have a 44-inch vertical leap, while Vince Carter can jump 43 inches. If Ja can jump 44 inches on a standstill, he would have easily outleaped both Carter and James with a running start, although, at 6-foot-3, Morant is considerably shorter. Still, Ja would still fall short against the 48-inch vertical of Michael Jordan.
Other players who can jump higher than Ja Morant are Jason Richardson (46 inches), Zach Lavine (46 inches), Spud Webb (46 inches), and Darrell Griffith (48 inches).
How High Can Ja Morant Actually Jump?
Ja Morant’s recorded vertical leap of 44 inches is taken from a standstill position or the standing vertical. Any documentation of Morant’s running vertical jump does not exist. It is safe to assume that he could be a 48-inch leaper with a running start. Here are some examples of Ja Morant’s jaw-dropping aerial artistry and why he is one of the most gifted leapers in the game right now:
1. Two-handed Snatch Block on Avery Bradley
2. 360 Alley-oop at the All-Star Game
3. Poster on Jakob Poeltl
4. Rookie Ja over Aron Baynes
This photo of Ja Morant dunking during practice says it all. Morant dunking at eye level with the rim would at least put his vertical leap at 45 inches. How’s the air up there?
How Did Ja Morant Workout His Vertical Jump?
How did Morant develop such a fantastic jump? It’s probably a combination of genetics and consistent practice. After all, the best exercise for jumping is, well, jumping. He was said to have jumped at least 800 times every day until he could dunk. If that’s true, that would have strengthened his calf muscles resulting in a pair of springy knees by the time he’s tall enough to dunk.
A famous Ja Morant vertical jump workout story involved tires. The tire story has undoubtedly contributed to building strong calf muscles that led to Ja’s explosive leaping ability. As the story went, when Ja was still a 5-foot-7 high-schooler, his dad, Tee, secured a tractor tire and created a jumping drill using the said tire. It wasn’t after doing the tire drills that Ja’s leaping ability went nuclear.
The one thing that we can learn here is that jumping ability can be acquired. It should be a part of a basketball player’s training. Another is that you don’t need special equipment to train. You can be innovative, like Tee Morant’s tire jumping drill. The key is to stick with the training, be consistent, and avoid doing too much too soon.
Whom Ja Morant’s Vertical Jump Compares
Unless the NBA and some other independent organization can measure every player’s vertical jump and put it into a database, the fans are left with a combination of anecdotal references and assumptions. But Ja’s 44-inch standing vertical and perhaps 45-48-inch running vertical jump are only comparable to the NBA’s most athletic players ever.
Aside from the players mentioned in the previous section:
- LeBron James (44 inches)
- Andrew Wiggins (44 inches)
- Harold Miner (44 inches)
- Dee Brown (44 inches)
- Muggsey Bogues (44.3 inches)
- Shannon Brown (44.5 inches)
- Zion Williamson (45 inches)
- James White (46 inches)
- Derrick Jones, Jr. (46 inches)
- Dennis Smith, Jr. (48 inches)
- Keon Johnson (48 inches)
- Wilt Chamberlain (48 inches)
Is Morant Currently Have the Highest Vertical Jump in the League?
He is undoubtedly in the running as one of the best leapers among active players. His explosion looks so smooth and natural, plus he has that uncanny ability to quickly get up in the air, like Zion Williamson and Zach Lavine. His jumping technique looks so effortless, perhaps honed by thousands of practice hours.
Ultimately, no one knows how high Morant can jump during his peak performance, but judging from his standing vertical leap of 44 inches, he is certainly top 10 in the league right now. If not, he is close. Sadly, fans probably won’t see him competing in the Dunk Contest anytime soon.
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) January 8, 2022
Along with explosive athleticism, Morant is also among the fastest in the league. Ja did not participate in the Draft combine in 2019, but he was tracked to have a sprint speed of 17.2 mph in a real game, according to NBA Court Optix. Put that elite speed together with his leaping ability, and you got a special player who will probably be in the MVP conversation for the next 10 years.
— NBA (@NBA) May 12, 2021
Wrapping Things Up: How High is Ja Morant’s Vertical?
Unless you’re living under a rock, Ja Morant has already among the best players in the NBA. His All-NBA campaign last season saw him averaging 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists while leading the Grizzlies to the 2nd seed. Many compared him to a young Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose because of his insane athleticism, but he has a chance to be better.
As pointed out repeatedly in the article, athleticism is a huge part of Ja Morant’s game. He is one of the fastest players in the league while also being one of its most explosive leapers. Combining these physical attributes, vision, decent shooting, and basketball IQ, Ja Morant’s star will be at the zenith for years to come.
Speaking of leaping ability, how high is Ja Morant’s vertical? He reportedly recorded a standing vertical of 44 inches, enough to place him near the top 10 in the NBA today. And since it’s a standing vertical, he can add a couple more inches to that if he’s going to have a running start. Even with 44 inches alone, Ja’s vertical is comparable to LeBron James’ and Andrew Wiggins (both at 44 inches). That otherworldly bounce enables Morant to deliver the exciting plays and posters he is known for.
If you’re interested in learning Ja Morant‘s story, check out this basketball biography book.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.