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“That’s just the best event,” said Murphy, a small forward. “It’s at Venice Beach, it’s crazy competitive and it’s just a lot of fun. I hate that I’m gonna have to watch like everyone else this year.”
He’ll tune in at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 (ESPNU) to watch 24 of the best high school players from around the country duke it out on the blacktops in SoCal.
“It’ll be way different watching as opposed to playing,” Murphy said. “But I’m happy with my decision to come to Duke a year early. I just felt like it wasn’t something I could pass up on.”
Murphy first learned he was eligible for the jump during last season, but tried to remain focused on helping St. Mark’s win. No easy feat, he says.
“It was almost impossible not to think about the fact that you can fulfill a dream a year earlier than you expected,” Murphy said. “I just talked it over with my family, and we all decided that leaving was the best decision for me.
"It’s definitely something that takes a long thought process because missing the Midnight Run at the Elite 24 is pretty tough.”
That’s because Murphy and the rest of the Elite 24 participants got a chance to square off against NBA stars like Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and DeMar DeRozan, which helped them gauge their skills.
“Just to have a chance to play against guys like that was big for all of us,” Murphy said. “Where else can you do that? It really gave us a lot of confidence to be out there on the court with them holding our own and on some plays getting the best of them. It set the tone for our seasons. Now I’m headed to college a year early.”