Port Arthur’s Kenneth Lofton Jr. follows G League honor with more Grizzlies impact

Published 12:30 am Friday, April 7, 2023

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Kenneth Lofton Jr. poured in a team-leading 24 points for the Memphis Hustle, but it was not enough to secure a victory in the semifinals of the 2022-23 KIA NBA G League.

In fact, Lofton’s total March 31 represented a game high for points scored, while he also contributed 10 rebounds and four assists.

The final numbers bring to an end a tremendous minor league season for the Memorial High School graduate.

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At 6-feet, 6-inches, the powerful and fluid forward from Port Arthur finished with season averages of 22.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assist per game.

His amazing efforts were rewarded that same day with another honor — 2022-23 KIA NBA G League Rookie of the Year.

Lofton scored 20+ points in nine games and 30+ points twice, including a career-high 33 points against Delaware on Feb. 3.

Kenneth Lofton Jr. scored a game-high 24 points in his final Memphis Hustle game of the 2022-23 season. The league used his picture, above, as the cover saver in the online highlights package. (memphis.gleague.nba.com)

Lofton secured the first triple-double of his career on Feb. 7 against Birmingham, finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. He notched nine double-doubles throughout the regular season.

He was also named to the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars as a member of the NBA G League team and also participated in the NBA G League NEXT Up game on Feb. 19.

Undrafted out of Louisiana Tech in the 2022 NBA Draft, Lofton signed a Two-Way contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on July 2, 2022.

Still playing

The end of the G League season did not mean the end of his basketball playing this season.

Lofton is now contributing to the NBA’s Grizzlies, where he played 23 minutes on Wednesday night against the Pelicans.

The Grizzlies lost, but Lofton scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists. He logged the second most minutes off the bench for the Grizzlies in Wednesday’s game.

For the NBA squad, Lofton has played in 22 games and is shooting more than 46 percent from the field.

The Grizzlies’ last two regular season games are today (April 7) at Milwaukee and Sunday at Oklahoma City. Lofton is expected to play in each.