WESTFIELD, NJ — Owen Murray has capitalized on what is, for most point guards, a disadvantageous characteristic — his height. The WHS senior defies the expectation that the point guard is always the shortest player. Standing at 6' 4", he is among the tallest players on the varsity basketball team.
Murray is this week's Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Athlete of the Week.
In their first game of the season Saturday, he led his team to victory against long-time competitor St. Mary's, currently ranked 13th in the state. Murray carried them through the game with a double-triple: 18 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
“Easily the most memorable moment of my basketball career so far was our win on Saturday versus St. Mary's,” Murray said. “St. Mary's had been ranked 7th in the state by NJ Hoops, and we were unranked. So winning against them for our first game, and doing so with so many injuries on the team, was a great feeling and great way to start the season.”
Murray also got 17 points against Scotch Plains-Fanwood Tuesday night, grabbing rebound after rebound on offense and defense side of the ball.
He was recently named "a player to watch" this season by NJ.com.
"I think what differentiates him from others is his leadership and desire. He isn't the type of kid who will yell to get guys to follow. He will lead by actions," head coach Daryl Palmieri said.
A captain of the WHS Boy's Varsity Basketball team, Murray has improved immensely since last year, according to Palmieri.
"What inspired me the most to improve was my goal to play college basketball,” Murray said. He has committed to Vassar College and will play basketball for them beginning next year.
“Now that I've reached that goal, what inspires me is to win a state championship with my team,” Murray said.
Palmieri said that Murray improved the most after his sophomore year.
"He was asked to step in and play varsity as a sophomore,” Palmieri said. “Though he had some ups and downs that year, I feel that that experience really made him mature as a player and a person."
Danielle Pinney is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located on the South Avenue Circle in Westfield, the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them this week at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.