Jamal Murray had quite the hot hand during his time as a Wildcat, and now he’s emerging as one of the NBA’s young stars. The 21-year-old point guard for the Denver Nuggets is averaging 18.8 points and 4.9 assists per game, but it’s his constant dedication to perfecting his shot that makes him stand out among dozens of talented players.
In a profile by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Murray’s intense diligence and consistently-competitive nature are on full display. While his appearances (sometimes up to three in one day) inside Denver’s practice facility are impressive, it’s nothing compared to how he grew up playing the game in Canada:
“Try shooting 3-pointers outside, in the snow, with a bitter Ontario wind ripping through you, after you’ve just held a deep-knee squat for 12 minutes, a cup of piping hot tea carefully balanced on your thigh to make sure you do not waver — all this executed under the watchful eye of your father, a martial arts enthusiast and basketball junkie who has been honing your skills since you were an infant.”
In addition to his physical fitness, Murray also devotes time to improving his mental state. Meditation has become part of his routine over the last several years, and he’s not to be interrupted during this time, “not even during a recruiting visit in 2015 from Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne, who approached Murray one day as he finished his workout, only to be instructed by [Murray’s father] to wait while Jamal sat cross-legged, eyes blissfully shut, in a corner of the gym,” according to the profile.
The article also talks about Murray’s upbringing in Canada, his relationship with Coach Calipari and his highest (and lowest) stretches throughout his time in the league. It’s a great read that gives readers a fascinating look into the player – and man – Jamal Murray is becoming.