September 19, 2011

Murray books scholarship

Kevin McCarthy
 

Tyree Murray could have folded. That would have been the easy route. But the Deer Valley High and Los Medanos College grad dug in and that effort has resulted in a basketball scholarship at a college in the Lone Star State.

photo of Tyree Murray

The 5-foot-10 Murray is now a junior at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) and will be playing for Shane Rinner, the third year coach of the Dustdevils who went 21-10, 8-4 last season. Ian Salter, out of Marin Catholic, just finished up at there.

It's the Heartland Conference consisting of Dallas Baptist, Newman University, Oklahoma Panhandle, St. Edward's. St. Mary's, University Texas Permian Basin and University Arkansas-Fort Smith. Former St. Francis star Shawn Grant recently signed with the latter school..

So how did a Bay Area baller get to west Texas-located Laredo, situated on the north bank of the Rio Grande?

As a freshman at Los Medanos under Coach Kerry Domenichelli, Murray earned 2009 Bay Valley Conference Most Valuable Player honors as well as all-state recognition. Scoring over 21 points per game and sinking 92 treys did the trick. He repeated the all-state accolade as a sophomore.

But Murray came up short academically as he completed his second year.

"I needed to earn more credits," Murray explained. "I had seen a lot of guys not come out of this and disappear and it was hard but I had the mental toughness to do it." He stayed the course, so to speak, and completed the classes necessary to earn his degree.

Why TAMIU?

"Something told me to trust them ([Coach Rinner and his staff]," Murray explained. "The interest he and his staff showed impressed me." It was Lakeshow Coach Joe Fuca, Murray's former basketball club coach, who initially brought the pair together.

How is he expecting to be used?

"I'll be a combo guard, a 1 and a 2 playmaker and shooter."

Asked about his perception of his best skills, Murray offered, "My shot is pretty polished and I have the ability to put the ball on the floor. Plus mental toughness."

Murray is majoring in sports and fitness, with the plans of going into the land of Rinner and Fuca -- "I've always wanted to coach," he said..

Worth noting is that besides success on the court, Rinner and his present team have brought about another positive aspect. The Dustdevil squad team earned the highest combined grade point average (3.1) of any team in the Heartland Conference.