Middle Tennessee 9-year-old talks special viral moment with Grizzlies star Ja Morant

Ja Morant
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 21:50:40-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A middle Tennessee boy's birthday present led to a genuine moment seen by millions.

School's back, but make no mistake: 9-year-old Zander Carr had a winter break like nobody else.

"At first I was like, 'what is actually happening?'" Zander said.

Let's take a step back.

Zander's family was in Memphis over the break. For his birthday, the family bought floor seats to a Memphis Grizzlies game so Zander could see his favorite player Ja Morant. They brought a sign.

"I'm ready to Ja'm out in my Ja 1s," Zander remembered, referring to Morant's Nike Ja 1 signature sneakers.

Mom Krissi said the game was great. Grizzlies won.

"Last seconds of the game, he lifted the sign up for one more chance maybe Ja would see it," Krissi said.

Then it happened.

"I just see [Morant] taking off the shoes," Zander remembered. "Then I just know what's happening. I'm getting the shoes."

"I don't even know what I thought!" laughed Krissi. "Is this really happening? I look at [Morant] like, 'you are absolutely amazing. My child looks up to you.'"

"I was like, 'oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm getting this,'" Zander continued. "I was in, like, dead shock."

The video of Morant giving an autographed pair of sneakers to Zander is everywhere, racking up millions of views.

"People keep joking around, 'can I have your autograph?'" laughed Zander.

"Just to see that pure innocence and genuine love for something, you could really tell how thankful he was and how much he loved that moment," said Krissi. "What happened surpassed any expectation that he had."

A kid who's had one unbeatable winter break sends us off the best way he can.

"Go Grizzlies!" Zander said.

We asked Zander what he's going to do with the shoes. He said the family's framing them for the living room.

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