Earlier this month we caught up with former Wichita State Shocker and current New York Knicks guard, Toure’ Murry.
Murry, who signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Knicks in September, earned his way onto the roster with his play during the NBA summer league and preseason. Through five preseason games, he averaged 10.2 points, including a 16-point effort against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 12.
1. Describe what you felt when you found out that you made the Knicks roster?
“It was a dream come true and unbelievable experience to get that phone call and get to officially say that you made it to the NBA. I have been playing basketball for all of my life and to say that I finally made it is a blessing.”
2. Describe the process that you went through after college and what you did to make it to the NBA?
“After college, my agent and I thought that it would be best for me to go overseas and play. Unfortunately, playing overseas did not work out for me so we decided to enter my name into the NBA Development league draft. I was picked 15th overall by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, which is affiliate of the Houston Rockets and eventually became the starting point guard in the middle of the season and helped my team win 16 games in a row and a Development League championship. I think after we won the championship is when I really started to get noticed by a number of NBA teams, including the New York Knicks. I played in the summer league with the Knicks and eventually was invited to veterans training camp and I performed well enough at camp to make the team. It was a long journey but worth every minute.”
3. What do you miss about Wichita State?
“Definitely the community, the security and comfort that I felt when I was at Wichita State. I miss the overall love that everyone on campus and in the Wichita community showed our team. The fans embraced me and they treated me as one of their own. It has a family feel to it and I didn’t take any of that for granted.”
4. What is the biggest difference from college ball and pro ball?
“The NBA game is much more fast paced. At the pro level, you have to have a high basketball IQ. I have learned that it is vital to know opponents tendencies in certain situations. Also, it is important to know your role on the team. There are guys who are brought in for defensive purposes and then there are the scorers and guys who bring their offense to the team. In college, every player needs to know how to do everything. There may be guys who are better on offense than defense but they need to be able to score the ball as well.”
5. What were your thoughts on the Final Four run last year?
“It was unbelievable. It really was a dream come true for me. I was living through their Final Four run and with Wichita State being my alma mater, I was rooting for those guys. I kept close tabs with the team and the coaching staff and wished them luck before every game. The entire team and staff did something very special with that incredible run and the alumni and all of Shocker nation should be very proud of.”
6. How does Coach Marshall compare to Coach Woodson?
“Both coaches are hard nosed coaches. They both demand a lot and hold you accountable to do your job. I think what really has helped me is that coach Marshall treated us like professionals. He wanted our best everyday and that helped my transition into the NBA. Coach Woodson always wants our focus and never wants us to slack off. Another similarity between the two is how they treat you off the court. Both coach Marshall and coach Woodson treat you like a business man and show you respect and in return they expect you to carry yourself that way in all phases of life.”
7. How did Wichita State help you make it to the NBA?
“At Wichita State, coach Marshall held me accountable for a lot of things. He put the pressure on me to be a great player and he never took days off with me. He always preached the team concept. It was never about one player and that definitely helped me get to where I am today because you always need to have that mindset and you can’t get to where you want to go without your teammates. I think during my career at Wichita State the biggest thing that I learned was to never take a day off, always believe in yourself, and look to improve your skills everyday.”
A four-year letterman, Murry averaged 11.1 points and 4.5 rebounds during his Shocker career. He is also the program’s all-time leader in assists with 430.