Jamal Murray (born February 23, 1997) is a Canadian basketball player who plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).[2][3]

 

 

Early life

Murray was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, the son of Sylvia and Roger Murray, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada at age nine.[2][4][5] He also has a younger brother, Lamar. His father grew up running track and field and playing basketball; as a youth, his father played against Kitchener native Lennox Lewis before Lewis began his professional boxing career.[2]

When Murray was three years old, he could play basketball "for hours" and played in a league for ten-year-olds when he was six.[3][4] By the age of 12 or 13, he began playing pick-up games against top high school and college players. His father put him through many basketball drills and kung fu exercises, including meditation.[3][4]

High school career

Murray attended Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, later transferring to Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, where his father served as an assistant coach.[6] He and fellow prospect Thon Maker formed a duo that would help Orangeville Prep defeat many American schools.[4]

At the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, Murray scored a game-high 30 points and was named the MVP.[7][8]

Murray was named MVP of the 2015 BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game, which includes the top high school players in Canada.[2]

Murray played AAU basketball for the CIA Bounce.[3]

College career

On June 24, 2015, Murray committed to Kentucky to play for coach John Calipari.[9][10][11] Murray is the only Kentucky player to have scored over 30 points in more than one game during a freshman season. He is currently tied with Terrence Jones for most points in a game by a UK freshman (35). He was featured on the Midseason Top 25 list for the John R. Wooden Award on January 13, 2016.[12] He was also named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy on February 11.[13]

College statistics

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2015–16Kentucky363635.2.454.408.7835.22.21.0.320.0

Professional career

Murray was selected by the Denver Nuggets (1st round, 7th overall) in the 2016 NBA draft.[14]

International career

Murray represented Canada at the 2013 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship in Uruguay, and averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game in leading the team to a bronze medal.[15] He played for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan American Games, helping the team win a silver medal.[16] His final averages for the tournament were 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while shooting 45.9% from the field.