Many basketball fans have wondered if Kenneth Lofton Jr., the rising star of the Memphis Grizzlies, is related to Kenny Lofton, the former MLB All-Star and six-time Gold Glove winner. The answer is no, they are not related by blood, but they do share some similarities and connections.
Who is Kenneth Lofton Jr.?
Kenneth Lofton Jr. is a 20-year-old professional basketball player who plays as a power forward and center for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. He also plays for the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League as part of his two-way contract. He was undrafted in the 2022 NBA draft, but signed with the Grizzlies shortly after. He made his NBA debut on October 22, 2022, scoring four points in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Lofton Jr. played college basketball for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, where he was a two-time all-conference selection in Conference USA, including first-team honors as a sophomore in 2022. He averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in his second season, and declared for the 2022 NBA draft without hiring an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to college. However, he decided to stay in the draft and pursue his professional career.
Lofton Jr. also represented the United States at the 2021 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Latvia, where he helped his team win the gold medal. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in the tournament, and was named to the All-Star Five.
Who is Kenny Lofton?
Kenny Lofton is a 54-year-old former professional baseball player who played as a center fielder for 11 different teams in MLB from 1991 to 2007. He was best known for his speed, defense, and leadoff hitting skills. He was a six-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger, a six-time Gold Glove winner, and a five-time stolen base champion. He also appeared in two World Series, with the Cleveland Indians in 1995 and 1997, but lost both times.
Lofton was also a basketball player in college, playing for the Arizona Wildcats as a point guard from 1985 to 1989. He was a teammate of future NBA stars Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr, and reached the Final Four in 1988. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 17th round of the 1988 MLB draft, but returned to Arizona for his senior year of basketball. He then focused on baseball and made his MLB debut in 1991.
How are they connected?
Although Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kenny Lofton are not related by blood, they do have some connections through their sports careers and their hometowns.
– Both of them are from Texas: Kenneth Lofton Jr. was born and raised in Port Arthur, while Kenny Lofton was born in East Chicago, Indiana, but moved to Houston when he was seven years old.
– Both of them played basketball and baseball in high school: Kenneth Lofton Jr. played both sports for Memorial High School in Port Arthur, while Kenny Lofton played both sports for Washington High School in Houston.
– Both of them won state championships in basketball: Kenneth Lofton Jr. won a 5A state title with Memorial High School in his sophomore season, while Kenny Lofton won a 5A state title with Washington High School in his senior season.
– Both of them played college basketball for teams that wear blue and red: Kenneth Lofton Jr. played for Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, whose colors are royal blue and red, while Kenny Lofton played for Arizona Wildcats, whose colors are navy blue and cardinal red.
– Both of them have connections to Cleveland: Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s grandfather, Gene “Rock” Duhon, was a track and field athlete at Southern University, where he was named to the Track Hall of Fame, and competed at United States Olympic Trials. He also ran for Cleveland State University for one year. Kenny Lofton played for the Cleveland Indians for nine seasons (1992-1996, 1998-2001), where he became one of their most popular and successful players.
Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kenny Lofton are not related by blood, but they do share some similarities and connections through their sports careers and their hometowns. They are both talented athletes who have excelled in basketball and baseball, and have represented their teams and countries with pride and passion.