Production and potential to the 10th degree. Jamal Murray represents himself well under both of these evaluating criteria. His arrival on the scene was June 3, 2012, at the Tri City Top 40 Showcase, where NPH discovered a 6’2 athlete with a long frame and a great understanding for the game.
Today the Waterloo, Ontario native and his family make a decision for him to transfer from Grand River Collegiate to join the Athlete Institute program based out of Orangeville, Ontario.
“It combines the best of both worlds; development, competition while staying closer to home, where we can still watch him play,” Father Roger Murray told NPH.
At the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 championship, he averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2.4 steals as to lead the Canadian Cadets to a bronze medal.
If these high level platforms don’t tell enough, this summer while on the Nike EYBL circuit with CIA Bounce he was the youngest and toughest player, making strong contributions on both ends of the floor. Murray then ended the summer playing with an older group at the Nike Global Challenge.
Since our first encounter with Murray in Waterloo he has showed great overall maturation in just over a one year span. As a ninth grader he was quiet by nature and his selflessness on the court was the mode of communication with others. Today he is a vocal leader that has found the balance between being overly passive and efficiently aggressive as a combo guard. He can play both guard positions at a high level and defends them as well, scores from all over and is beginning to unveil his athleticism. Murray’s body has evolved as well, growing two inches in height and filling up with muscle mass. With this rate of development he is setting the measuring tool for his ceiling very high.
Mental and physical toughness are two intangible traits that add to his value on a team. He has always embraced challenges and had the right attitude to face them. We’ve seen Murray defend power forwards, including the likes of Chris Egi in game and practice situations and we’ve seen this young guard bring his team back from 15 point deficits near the end of games. Murray is an ultimate competitor.
Above all, the inspirational example that encompasses what type of player and person he is, came in the semi-finals of the Ontario Cup while he was playing for the Waterloo Wolverines. Murray went down in pain realizing his finger was badly dislocated and shaped like an L in a way that it shouldn’t. He refused to go to the hospital until the game was done. Jamal was looked after by an on sight therapist who temporarily put a sling on his hand and he came back to provide energy and direction from the bench. When the buzzer sounded he shook hands with Wolverine opponents and then made his way to the hospital.
Any coach that has worked with Murray will vouch for his dedication level towards improvement, this is what makes him such a coachable personality. You don’t need to expect anything out of Murray because Murray expects the most out of himself. This is an attitude that has been passed down onto Jamal by his father, Roger Murray.
If you’re wondering why there hasn’t been anything remotely negative to say about Jamal Murray, that’s because there isn’t. We’re talking about a kid who is growing up in the basketball “age of entitlement,” but is furthest away from fitting the description.