Jason King over at BleacherReport.com has one of the most fascinating reads about a Kentucky basketball player in a very long time.
King looked into the background of Jamal Murray and found that his upbringing is unlike anything we’ve heard or seen. Through his father’s admiration of Bruce Lee, the Honk Kong action star, Murray took up kung fu at a young age and applies its lessons to basketball. For example, he meditates before and after every practice and game. He calls it mental kung fu.
“Sometimes I’m reflecting on a practice and things I could’ve done better,” the UK freshman told King. “Other times I’m visualizing things that will happen in a game. Having that time to myself is important. It’s a big part of who I am as a player.”
Through his meditation and kung fu training, Murray plays with a heart rate of 34 beats per minute, much lower than the normal, resting heart rate of 56 beats per minute. That enables him to keep a calm demeanor throughout entire games, no matter the intensity of the situation.
King also spoke to Jamal’s father, Roger Murray, who explained how he dedicated his life to setting Jamal up for basketball success. He canceled the family’s cable subscription service so Jamal wouldn’t be distracted by TV; took Jamal to play in pickup games with grown men; and went to extremes, like having Jamal do push-ups in the snow to develop a tolerance for pain.
Definitely take a moment this morning to read more about Murray’s lifelong training to become the star we are about to witness in Lexington.