Markieff Morris was born on September 2, 1989, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania seven minutes before his twin brother Marcus Morris. He has four brothers, including twin Marcus, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. A four-star recruit out of high school, Markieff played college basketball for the Kansas Jayhawks, alongside his twin brother Marcus.
In 2011, Markieff was named to the Big 12 All-Conference Second Team during his junior year at the University of Kansas, before declaring for the NBA Draft. Morris was drafted 13th overall in by the Phoenix Suns. He won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.