Ja Morant Plays Tough Defense In Teen’s Assault Lawsuit | Bets On Tennessee Accepting His “Stand Your Ground” Claim

Ja Morant’s defense in an assault lawsuit now hinges on how effectively he can prove that he acted in self-defense over the altercation with a teen named Joshua Holloway during a pickup game at the basketball star’s home.

On Wednesday, Morant saw a huge boost to his chances when a judge ruled that the Memphis Grizzlies star’s legal team could argue that the Memphis Grizzlies guard acted in self-defense when he allegedly punched a teen last summer during a pickup game at his home.

Morant’s lawyers had already acknowledged that the basketball player hit the 17-year-old in the chin when he was hit by a thrown basketball while playing a pickup game at Morant’s house. Subsequently, Morant and his friend were accused of assault, reckless endangerment, abuse or neglect, and infliction of emotional distress in a lawsuit.

Stand Your Ground

However, no criminal charges have been filed against Morant.

Now, Morant’s attorneys have the task of proving that he was acting under Tennessee’s “stand your ground” law — the defense would allow Morant to claim that he felt threatened at home, prompting him to act violently. Circuit Court Judge Carol Chumney is willing to hear the “stand your ground” defense from Morant’s lawyers about the case.

All the lawyers in the case, including the Tennessee Attorney General, have been tasked with whether the law applies to the case under the state Constitution.

Video of the teen in the case talking with the police about what happened went viral, compounding on Morant’s pre-existing issues affecting his image and income-generating ability as a professional basketball player. The NBA suspended Morant for 25 games of the upcoming NBA season for an unrelated incident waving a gun in a viral social media video.

Conversely, Morant filed a countersuit alleging the teen of battery, slander, and assault.

The Other Perspective

The teen has basketball ambitions, as Holloway recently signed his national letter of intent to play Division I at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, this fall.

“When stuff comes out, I really try to ignore it because I know everybody has their opinion, so I just try to stay within myself,” Holloway said to Memphis News Channel 3 back in April. With all the hype around the case, Holloway revealed how he dealt with the pressure.

“Just don’t think about it too much. Go to the gym when you feel and start to think about it. That’s what I do, that’s my therapy. I go to the gym, I work out, just get my mind off everything that’s happening right now,” Holloway said.

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