76ers player and Philly native Marcus Morris named a ‘Hometown Hero’

“I would be nothing without the city,” Morris said. “Any time I've been announced, they always say ‘from North Philadelphia.’”

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Marcus Morris with his mother as he receives a key to the city

76ers basketball player Marcus Morris (left) and his mother Thomasine Morris (right) were emotional as the North Philadelphia native received a symbolic key to the city in honor of his accomplishments during a special ceremony at City Hall on January 11, 2024. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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Sixers forward Marcus Morris Sr. was honored by City Council on Thursday for his decade-plus basketball career and the work done through his organization in Philadelphia.

Members of the 76ers cheered on Morris when he celebrated as a “Hometown Hero” at City Hall. Morris, along with his twin brother Markieff, took their basketball talents from Prep Charter High School to the University of Kansas to the NBA, where they’ve both played for over a decade.

Through their organization, the Family Over Everything Foundation, the Morris twins have aided members of Philly’s underserved communities since 2017.

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Marcus Morris tearfully reflected on his journey from North Philly to the NBA in front of his teammates and loved ones.

“I know they’re saying thank you to me, I’m saying thank you to y’all,” Morris said. “I would be nothing without the city. Any team I’ve ever been on, any time I’ve been announced, they always say from North Philadelphia.”

“Basketball gave me the platform to be able to help people, but my family, my friends, and the people around me, they always took us in. Everybody had a part in my career and I’m very thankful for that.”

Councilmember Isaiah Thomas recited the resolution honoring Morris on Thursday and presented him with a model of the Liberty Bell for his efforts. While addressing those in attendance at City Hall, he said, “Nobody from Philly puts on for this city like the Morris twins.”

“People talk about the philanthropy work as far as the giveaways and things like that, but Marcus and Markieff, they’re in the weeds,” Thomas said. “All the best basketball players to come out of Philly to go D1 at some point, you worked out with the Morris twins. When you think about the Rumph Classic, our kids get an opportunity to see the Morris twins every single year. They stay late, they sign autographs, they give out a bunch of stuff to the community.”

While speaking with WHYY News, Morris said he was thankful for the city showing him and his brother appreciation for their contributions.

“It doesn’t always have to be about sports. Just having that grind, that underdog mentality,” Morris said. “I want to be able to give back, just be a person and be able to be in reach and be touched by the kids. Show them what it looks like. We already start two feet behind the line, we have to have a different type of work ethic. That’s what I’m here to provide and to show.”

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Morris has been playing in the NBA for 12 years and ended up in Philly last October following the trade that sent former Sixers guard James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 76ers currently sit third in the Eastern Conference and face off against the Sacramento Kings on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m.

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