The all-time leading scorer in Cornell Big Red men’s basketball history, Matt Morgan, has signed a NBA Summer League contract with the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, agreeing to join the team in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Morgan finished the 2019 season and his career with the resume befitting of the program’s all-time leader in points and the second greatest scorer in Ivy League history after posting 687 points in his final season to cap off a career that saw him record a stunning 2,333 points.
“It was huge to be a part of what will happen in the Ivy League moving forward,” Morgan said when reminiscing about his impact on the Cornell program and the growth of Ivy League basketball. “To have my name there as one of the best in the league and represent it on the professional basketball level is hard to put into words.”
The professional career is something that is just getting underway for the Charlotte, North Carolina, native, as he endured a long process of training and hoping in order to take the next step.
Prior to his senior season, Morgan had already familiarized himself with the NBA Draft process, having entered the draft twice, only to return to Cornell with critiques from scouts.
“In my junior year, there was a lot of interest and call from different team,” he said. “They wanted me to go back to school and start preparing because once your senior year is over, it’s going to be a long process.”
The process was indeed a long one for Morgan, who had received invitations to work out for multiple NBA teams, waited anxiously for the NBA Draft to roll around. Hoping to hear his name called during one of the 60 selections of the draft, Morgan was glued to his television.
“There were a lot of nerves on draft night,” he said. “I watched all 60 picks from beginning to end.”
When the 60th pick was announced, Morgan was left without hearing his name called in the draft, but he knew that the dream wasn’t over yet.
“It’s not about where you get picked, but it’s about where you end up,” he said. “My agent called me and said, ‘That was plan “A,” but we have plans “B” through “Z” coming up.’”
Fortunately for Morgan, he would not need to resort to anything deeper than plan “B,” as it wasn’t long after that the Raptors had notified his agent that they wanted the Cornell star to play in Las Vegas. In one week’s time, Morgan was set to become a member of the Raptors, but he wasn’t the first person who found out.
“We were about to cut our front lawn, and [my dad] was like, ‘Congratulations, we are going to Toronto,” he said, recounting the moment. “He was the first person to find out, and then, my agent called me.”
The moment was life changing for Morgan, who, while a talented player in his high school career, was widely overlooked by many collegiate programs. When asked if he ever thought that this is the way his career would turn out, he simply responded with, “No, not at all.”
“It’s a dream that, in the beginning, I didn’t think was possible,” he said. “I’m almost [in the NBA], so I just need to keep working hard.”
The hard work is just beginning for Morgan, who is excited to join the organization that he watched win its first NBA Championship this spring.
The Summer League contract, while not an official contract into the NBA or G-League roster, allows for Morgan and other undrafted players to compete for the opportunity to sign a full contract with the organization.
The Raptors, with Morgan on the roster, will begin play in Las Vegas, this weekend, against the team that they defeated in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors.
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