Via: Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s most recent acquisition, Markieff Morris, plays a tough brand of basketball. Known as an enforcer on the court, he plays with a passion and toughness that will fit in perfectly alongside Russell Westbrook and the rest of this season's Thunder team.
Several times throughout his career, Markieff “Keef” Morris has said he cares more about winning than the money. He wants to make it to the playoffs as much as possible and contend. It will be exciting to see how he fits in the Thunder rotation down the stretch.
Everyone knows Markieff has a twin brother, Marcus, who plays for the Celtics. Most people also know that Markieff is 1-2 inches taller and 10-15 pounds heavier than his brother, but outside of that they are nearly the exact same. However, here are 5 things about Keef that you may not know:
1. He Had a Tough Childhood
Although I have never personally spoken with Keef, I think there are some clear ties to his past that have molded him into the tough, gritty player he is today.
Keef, and his twin brother Marcus, grew up without a father. Their mother, Thomasine "Angel" Morris raised them on her own, working hard to ensure her boys were taken care of. Markieff has even said that she was hardly able to make any of their basketball or football games growing up, as she was always working to support them.
I think her work ethic rubbed off onto her children, as both Morris twins are extremely hard working on and off the court.
Late in his high school years, Keef’s home burned down. He not only lost the home he grew up in, but also lost everything he had inside. His family was forced to move into his grandparents’ house a few blocks down the street.
The childhood Markieff went through has molded him into the tough-minded player he is today. He has certainly been through a lot.
2. Him and His Brother Started a Charity
Markieff and Marcus Morris, along with the help of their 3 other brothers, have started a charity to support single mothers. Their mission is to provide for single mothers in whatever way needed to help them support their kids.
The charity, Family Over Everything (FOE), has put on everything from basketball camps, to flag football games, backpack drives, and everything in-between. They love giving support to families who have a similar background as them.
3. He coaches a TBT Basketball Tournament Team
Markieff and Marcus have coached a team of their former teammates and friends in the TBT basketball tournaments since 2016. The TBT Tournament is a 64-team, single elimination basketball tournament. The winner of the tournament takes home $2 million. They were "Team FOE, and while they haven't won the tournament, have a solid team. The team includes players like Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Maalik Wayns (Villanova), Mychel Thompson (Pepperdine), and Mario Little (Kansas).
4. He is represented by Klutch Sports
Last summer, Both Marcus and Markieff signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. This is the same, powerful agent that represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and John Wall. Both twins were going into the final year of their contract last summer, and working with Rich Paul was a strategic move by them as they are both due for new contracts this upcoming summer.
This will play a huge factor if this signing by Oklahoma City works out, and they wish to sign him beyond this season.
5. More Fun Facts
Upon listening to an interview on an excellent NBA podcast, "4 SZNS NBA Podcast", Markieff is an easy going guy who shared some fun facts about himself. You can listen below to hear what the newest Thunder player had to say:
In the interview, Keef reveals many things such as:
Nickname: Keef or Smooth (Listen to find out why)
Favorite Food: Shrimp Alfredo and Cornbread
Favorite NFL Team: Dallas Cowboys (Rival of Marcus' team, the Philadelphia Eagles)
Favorite Childhood NBA Team: New York Knicks
Markieff made the signing with the Thunder official on the evening of February 20th, 2019. Only time will tell if he can make the impact many fans are hoping he can.