PHOTOS — Gold medal son Kenneth Lofton Jr. makes celebrated Port Arthur return

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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The Port Arthur City Council returned today to an in-person meeting, and it provided a golden opportunity.

Kenneth Lofton Jr. wears his 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup medal. (Monique Batson/The News)

As attendees gathered Tuesday afternoon before the meeting’s 5:30 p.m. start, Memorial High graduate and current Louisiana Tech basketball star Kenneth Lofton Jr. came through.

July 13, 2021, was commemorated Kenneth Lofton Jr. Day in the City of Port Arthur.

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Lofton started the week in Latvia as part of Team USA, which on Sunday won the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie, right, reads a proclamation in Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s honor. (Monique Batson/The News)

Lofton was a huge reason why, scoring a team-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to help the USA complete an 83-81 come-from-behind victory and bring home gold.

The Port Arthur native recorded seven points and three rebounds in the last stanza to spark the USA’s comeback.

Lofton ended up leading Team USA in scoring for the entire tournament, averaging 13.1 points while shooting 65 percent from the field.

He also ranked second on the squad in rebounds per game (5.3) and efficiency per game (15.0).

USA defeated France 83-81 in the FIBA U19 Championship game Sunday. Courtesy of FIBA


Kenneth Lofton Jr. gathers with family at Port Arthur City Hall. (Monique Batson/The News)


A cake honoring Kenneth Lofton Jr. was enjoyed at city hall. (Monique Batson/The News)