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 in their athletic careers.
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, the Grizzlies’ affiliate in the NBA G League. He was undrafted in the 2022 NBA draft, but signed a two-way contract with the Grizzlies shortly after.
Lofton Jr. played college basketball for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, where he was a two-time all-conference selection in Conference USA. He averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game as a sophomore in 2022, and was named to the First Team All-Conference USA. He also declared for the 2022 NBA draft, but did not sign with an agent, allowing him to return to Louisiana Tech if he wanted to.
Lofton Jr. made his NBA debut on October 22, 2022, scoring four points in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He has since appeared in 14 games for the Grizzlies, averaging 5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He has also played in 10 games for the Hustle, averaging 18.9 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was named the NBA G League Rookie of the Year, All-NBA G League First Team, NBA G League All-Rookie Team, and NBA G League Next Up Game participant in 2023.
Who is Kenny Lofton?
Kenny Lofton is a 54-year-old former professional baseball player who played as a center fielder for 11 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, four-time Silver Slugger, six-time Gold Glove winner, and five-time stolen base champion. He also played in two World Series, with the Cleveland Indians in 1995 and 1997.
Lofton was also a basketball player in college, playing for the Arizona Wildcats from 1985 to 1988. He was a backup point guard behind future NBA stars Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott, and helped the Wildcats reach the Final Four in 1988. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 17th round of the 1988 MLB draft, and decided to pursue a baseball career instead of basketball.
Lofton retired from baseball in 2007, and has since been involved in various business ventures and philanthropic activities. He also works as a broadcaster and analyst for MLB Network and SportsTime Ohio.
How are they similar?
Despite not being related by blood, Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kenny Lofton have some similarities in their athletic careers. They both played basketball and baseball in high school, and were multi-sport stars. They both played basketball in college, although at different levels and positions. They both have Texas roots: Lofton Jr. was born and raised in Port Arthur, while Lofton was born in East Chicago, Indiana, but moved to Houston when he was seven years old.
They also have some physical similarities: they both stand at 6 feet 6 inches tall, although Lofton Jr. weighs much more than Lofton at 275 pounds versus 180 pounds. They both wear number 6 on their jerseys: Lofton Jr. for the Grizzlies and Hustle, and Lofton for most of his MLB teams.
How are they different?
Despite their similarities, Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kenny Lofton have many differences as well. They play different sports: Lofton Jr. is a basketball player, while Lofton was a baseball player. They play different positions: Lofton Jr. is a power forward and center, while Lofton was a center fielder and leadoff hitter.
They also have different styles of play: Lofton Jr. is known for his strength, rebounding, and post moves, while Lofton was known for his speed, defense, and base stealing.
They also have different career paths: Lofton Jr. is just starting his professional career as an undrafted rookie on a two-way contract, while Lofton had a long and successful career as a first-round draft pick who played for many teams and earned many awards.
Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kenny Lofton are not related by blood, but they do share some similarities in their athletic careers. They both played basketball and baseball in high school and college, and they both wear number 6 on their jerseys. However, they also have many differences in their sports, positions, styles, and paths. They are both talented and accomplished athletes in their own right, and fans can appreciate them for their unique contributions to their respective games.