Nov. 22, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - George Murphy, a 6-foot-4 wing player from Houston's Lamar High School, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UC Santa Barbara, head coach Bob Williams announced Tuesday.
Murphy, who at various times has competed in baseball, football, soccer and swimming, as well as basketball at Lamar HS, is playing exclusively hoops this year.
"He's a well-rounded athlete who has played a ton of sports," Williams said. "Part of his appeal to me is how much improvement he made in the last year since he's concentrated on basketball."
A standout on the AAU circuit, Murphy played for the Houston Chiefs and he raised some eyebrows when he scored 41 points to lead his team past the elite Houston Swoosh during a tournament in Las Vegas this past summer.
"I saw him after that and just loved how he played," Williams commented. "He's a tremendous competitor and a well-rounded athlete. He's a very good deep shooter and he's better off the dribble and to the rim than people probably give him credit for. He also has a real knack for getting fouled and getting to the line."
Murphy, an outstanding student, scored a 2100/2400 on the SAT and was recruited by most of the Ivy League schools as well as Army.
"He never really got on the radar screen with some coaches because he hadn't played basketball year-round before this year," Williams said. "He's the whole package, and he's a great student too. We're really excited to get him."
Murphy will be the only early signee for the UCSB men's basketball program.