Christian Morris: Beast or Crash?

As quickly as South Kent (Conn.) junior big man Christian Morris is picking up nicknames, that's about how quickly he's also losing weight. The once 290-pound Bronx native is now tipping the scales at 260 - and the change in his body is starting to reflect his game on the court.

Christian Morris' nickname went from "Beast" to "Crash" this past summer after the South Kent (Conn.) junior big man shattered a pair of backboards.

The 6-foot-9, 265-pound Morris broke his first at Rucker Park in his native New York – and then took another one down at the Peach Jam in July.

And to think what may have happened had Morris not dropped about 30 pounds since he arrived at South Kent a year ago.

Morris barely finished the 4.5-mile run from Kent to South Kent when he joined the program 12 months ago. A few weeks ago, the only players who beat him were the guards.

``Look at his body," South Kent coach Raphael Chillious said. "He made a commitment to being fit. If he gets the ball in the post, the only thing stopping him is him. He's definitely our most dominant low-post scorer."

``Last year I questioned whether I could make it here a lot," Morris said. "Now I know I am going to make it. I know what Coach Chillious is going to throw at me."

Another major change for Morris is his work in the classroom.

``I never had B's before I came here," Morris said. "I knew in the middle of last year I had to step up or else I wouldn't have the grades to get into college."

Despite getting into better shape, Morris had a roller-coaster summer that started strong with the Metro Hawks, but finished on a down note.

``When Coach Dermon (Player) left, that's when everything fell apart," Morris said. "I didn't get a lot of touches and I didn't play at all in one game in Vegas."

Morris has his confidence back – and he'll likely get more playing time this season on a talented frontline at South Kent.

Each time he takes the court, he thinks of his grandmother who died of cancer in 2002. Morris recently got a tattoo on his right arm that says, "Rest in Peace Grandma Coleman".

``I think of her every time I go out there," Morris said. "She was like a mother to me."

Morris won't have his grandmother to help him with his recruitment, but the 18-year-old has a good feel for the schools that have prioritized him. Morris said that St. John's and Miami are the two most aggressive schools, but also mentioned Georgia, Louisville, Florida, Rutgers and Texas.

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