NEW YORK, NY— Jamal Murray (2016) out of Kitchener, Ontario (Grand River Collegiate Institute) was the second Canadian player to earn MVP honours in the prestigious Jordan Brand Classic International game. South Carolina commit Duane Notice got it in 2010, registering 23 points and eight rebounds.
For the international team (white), Murray posted 24 points, five rebounds and one assist in the loss. He got to the line three times and made sure he nailed each free throw, giving him seven from the stripe. The White team would fight to the end but eventually go down 76-72 after a solid second half effort and six lead changes.
After a weak first half, Coach Herman Harried called for his leader Murray, to step it up as the White team was down 48-30 at the half of the International game at the Jordan Brand Classic. Coming into this game, the Black team looked very comfortable and was cruising over the White team, led by MVP for Black, Benjamin Simmons who is a Australian native now playing at Montverde Academy.
Team White admittedly started the game with butterflies and it showed on the big stage as they collectively had 15 turn overs in the first half compared to only four from Team Black.
“Yes we were pretty nervous to start the game and I missed the first few shots because of that,” explained Murray after the game.
To make matters worse for the team with two Canadians, Justin Jackson had three fouls in the half and was forced to sit out for a majority of the game. Jackson finished with four points and three rebounds.
Italy’s Andrea Latorre was a pest defensively for Team Black and finished the game with three steals to go with his 10 point and 5 rebound night.
The tale was different to start the second half, as Jamal and Team White came out aggressive and looking to attack the basket. They had 11 steals as a unit and played good help defense.
Murray’s refuse to lose mentality was a big part of this comeback that came short. Sixteen of his 24 points came in the second half, off of step back threes and strong takes to the hole.
We will be seeing Mr. Murray again in the near future as he joins a dominant CIA Bounce team this summer on the AAU circuit. Stay tuned for video interviews from today which will be up shortly.