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Within the past couple years, Piedmont basketball has found much success while playing in the North Coast section and has been very privileged to come by many great athletes in its recent years. Last year, the Highlanders managed to end the season with one of the greatest finishes in school history with a record of 24-6. But with what might be the most difficult offseason for the varsity boys program, there are already a number of people who are writing the Highlanders off.
After a long offseason, the Highlanders are losing a total of nine seniors including their former senior captain Luke Barrett – now at St. Mary’s – which has many opposing teams excited. But if there is one person currently in this organization who believes that they will come back stronger than ever, it has to be junior Jojo Murphy.
“My goal for this season is to win as many games as possible,” explains Murphy in an excited tone. “People are going to be thinking that we are weaker this year and praying on us. But I just want to punch them in the mouths and show our doubters that we aren’t weak and we just want to win as much as possible.”
Originally from Oakland, Murphy was a sophomore playing on varsity last year. He made his presence felt on the court playing point guard while also averaging 13.3 points per game. The Highlanders, with Murphy on the roster, had an eye-opening season last year, averaging 75.6 points per game and winning the North Coast Section title. While also reaching third in the challenging league, it was surely a special and memorable season for the entire organization.
“The best moment for me would have to be the home game last year against Bishop O’ Dowd,” Murphy said. “I had about 35 points in overtime and we were down three and I grabbed the ball into the corner to shoot a fade away three to tie it at the buzzer. The whole crowd was there and everyone I knew was at the game, and it was just a magical moment.”
With the regular season finally taking place within a week, players such as Murphy are eager to finally enter a gym to play competitive ball. With time coming closer, the junior seems ready and confident that the team will pick off where it left off from last year.
“Even though we are losing a lot of seniors this year, I know we have a couple guys from JV and I think one other guy returning from varsity,” Murphy said. “They are all really solid and I know we will be fine.”
With the junior year being the main point for the college recruiting process, Murphy is already in talks with several schools ranging from Division II schools to high-to-mid Division I programs. He has spoken with much interest concerning an engineering and macro-economics degree and also a program with a comfortable atmosphere.
“I just want a program that will let me play and allow me to do my thing, that’s suitable and just a good fit,” Murphy said.
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