One-on-One with Orangeville Prep’s Jamal Murray


One-on-One with Orangeville Prep’s Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray has a bright future ahead of him.

Forget just Canada, this Kitchener native is one of the top recruits in all of North America. After finishing up a very successful second season with the Athlete Institute’s Orangeville Prep team, the accolades and all-star games have not stopped piling up for the 18-year-old.

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In the build up to both the Nike Hoop Summit, happening April 11 in Portland, and the BioSteel All Canadian All Star Game, happening just three days later on April 14, I had a chance to chat with Murray this week.

We talked about what it felt like to be a part of the first ever All-Canadian High School game, his plans for next year, and how he rated his first year as a part of Orangeville Prep’s still budding program in the prep school circuit.

Ryan Greco: How are you doing today?

Jamal Murray: I’m doing well thank you.

RG: Alright fantastic. So, the first thing I wanted to ask you, seeing as the type of groundbreaking year it has been for Canadian prep schools, more specifically [Athlete Institute] Orangeville Secondary, walk me through this season and what its been like going on this journey with your teammates.

JM: It’s been a good season, like you said with my brothers, some of them had come back for a second year. We all got know each other inside out from what we’re like off the court to what we are like on the court, and I got to meet some new guys with some new talent like Thon Maker and Matur Maker, Kalif Young. They all brought a lot of talent to the team and I think we have all grown a lot and I think it is just a different experience compared to going to a regular high school.

RG: Now I know you have been to a lot of great showcases over your career up until this point, but what does it mean to you to be a part of the first ever All-Canadian event that will be getting national media exposure throughout Canada?

JM: It’s going to be a great experience. I’m happy to be in it and to represent my country, especially after what we have done overall (internationally) and I’m just honoured to be a part of it.

I’ve been to a few of the American ones and seen how they do it, but what will be really great to see is some of the other (Canadian) guys get some more exposure through this event. It’s going to be a fun night.

RG: I grew up in Cambridge for a little while [just south of Kitchener] and even back in the 90’s, the Waterloo region would produce some pretty decent basketball teams here and there that would be able to give some Toronto teams a run for their money. Being from that area, do you think the Kitchener-Waterloo region gets enough exposure?

JM: That whole tri-city area is roughly the same, but I think that since I’ve come from there they’ve gotten a little bit bigger and better.

RG: The top prep school from that region, SJK [St. John’s-Kilmarnock], recently had a huge upset win over one of the top prep schools in the states, Indiana’s La Lumiere. Have you had a chance to play with any of those [SJK] kids over the years?

JM: Yeah I’ve played with every single one of them. I know their coach and all the way down the list of players that they’ve had I’ve balled with, and it’s crazy that they managed to beat a school like La Lumiere, but sometimes that happens.

RG: When was your moment that you thought you could play in the NCAA and even the NBA?

JM: The Nike Hoops Summit, I did ok there. U-16’s I was able to show I could play different positions. I’ve always been playing with older guys 2-3 years older than me since I was a young kid playing in the YBA, and I always thought I could play with these guys I just need the chance. Last year at those big camps I had to prove myself, so I saw that I could play with them and saw that I could produce well against them.

RG: I know you haven’t announced yet if you are reclassifying for this year or staying in the 2016 class, but who have you been cheering for this March Madness tournament?

JM: I haven’t been watching a lot of college basketball this year, and I haven’t decided if I’m going for 2015 or 2016. It’s hard to give an input because I’m not even sure where I’m going.

RG: If you could be a part of any of those teams, and we’re not talking about actually classifying or signing with any of those schools, just simply by style of play, if you could be a starting point guard for any of those schools over the course of college basketball this season who would it be.

JM: Tough question. I’m not sure, but I can play different styles, I can adapt to the system that a coach puts me in, but I want a coach that understands me, that wants and needs me, and will give me the opportunity shine and give me space to reach that next level.

RG: Thank you for the time

JM: Thank you for having me.

Be sure to check out the full interview below and the BioSteel All-Canadian All Star Game on April 14 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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