Spring 2014

In the Garden

Toure' Murry
Standout Shocker Toure' Murry has successfully made the jump from playing at home in the Roundhouse to playing at home in Madison Square Garden. A New York Knicks guard, Murry may not have posted major playing time this season, but his time on the floor was significant.

Toure' Murry began learning to play basketball when he was five years old, and he doesn't plan to stop being a student of the game any time soon.

Murry, a native of Houston, Texas, who graduated from Wichita State in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in sociology, just finished his first season with the NBA's New York Knicks. "I'm blessed to be here representing my family, Houston and Wichita State," he says. A few of those family members he proudly represents are responsible for helping him develop as a basketball player. "Everywhere they went, I was with them trying to learn," Murry says of his older brothers Nile and Yanick. "My father played basketball and he taught us."

By the time Murry got to middle school, his basketball prowess was obvious, but his height was average. "I was kind of a late bloomer," he says. "I didn't have the height, but I had the skills." Eventually, he grew to match his skills with a 6'5" frame. College coaches, including WSU's Gregg Marshall, took notice. "It definitely taught me to grow," Murry says of his time at Wichita State. "This is reality and you have to earn your way playing for Coach Marshall. He never gave me anything. He always preached about accountability. Work hard for whatever you get."

Murry's hard work was evident when, as a junior, he became the 40th Shocker to reach 1,000 career points. He helped lead Wichita State to the 2011 NIT championship and was an integral part of the 2012 MVC title team that also made a NCAA tournament appearance. One of the best all-around guards to play for Wichita State, he ranks first in career assists and second in steals.

During his collegiate career, Murry appreciated the support he felt from Shocker fans. "It was great when I was there, so I know it's amazing now," he says. "It's a testament to the community and the guys Coach Marshall has recruited. Those guys are doing a great job carrying the torch."

After leaving WSU, Murry spent time in the NBA's D-League, where he helped lead the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a championship. Later invited to join the Knicks' summer league team, he was offered a contract in September 2013.

One of the Shockers who got to cut down the nets in New York City's Madison Square Garden after winning the 2011 NIT championship, Murry now regularly plays in the building where one of his favorite Shocker memories was made. "It's just amazing to me to play there," he says. "It's surreal that I get to play in the Garden." Adding to the Garden's aura are the spectators who come to watch the Knicks. "There are superstars and celebrities there every night," says Murry. "You watch TV and movies, and these people are right there courtside. And they know your name." Actor Ben Stiller is one of the celebrities Murry has met at the Garden. "He's hilarious," Murry says. "I enjoy his movies. To meet him, that was kind of fun."

In addition to celebrities on the sidelines, Murry also gets to meet famous peers, like LeBron James, on the court. "Playing against the Miami Heat, that was amazing," says Murry. He also likes being around his own talented teammates, including Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. "Those guys are great," he says. "They're really down-to-earth people. I enjoy playing with them and having the opportunity to learn from them." One example of Murry working well with his teammates is an off-the-backboard pass to Iman Shumpert for a dunk, a play that nabbed the number one spot on NBA.com's Top 5 for April 15.

Being with a new team hasn't caused him to forget his old one. "I watch all the games on TV," he says of the Shockers. "I still communicate with the players and coaches. I'm still involved." Murry's support of the team was on display during the March 9 MVC tournament championship game, for which he traveled to St. Louis to watch in person.

While he enjoys playing at Madison Square Garden and exploring NYC, he is also focused on answering a challenge Marshall gave him. "Everybody's talented," Murry says. "It's about who works hard. ‘What are you going to add to your game?' Marshall brought that out. He taught me to never stop working."


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In the Garden

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