John Murry is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Indianapolis, Indiana with minimal professional season. Technically he is in his third professional season, but has only three professional games under his belt in the Canadian NBL league with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans. This summer he signed his first professional contract with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). He spoke to germanhoops.com earlier in the summer about his basketball career.
John thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
No problem, thank you for choosing me for this interview. I am currently in Indianapolis, In training and working out every day for the upcoming season in Germany. This summer has been so productive and very well-orchestrated thanks to my trainers and other vets in my corner.
Congrats on signing with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga). You signed very early at the end of April. How good did it feel signing your first overseas contract?
Man, the feeling that I got in my body was incomparable and almost impossible to put into words. I received a call at my place of employment at the time and seconds later the contract was in my email. There wasn’t a better feeling that I have had in my life more recently then to look in my email and see that all I had to do was sign my name and I was onto a better life. I wanted to shout, scream, jump, dance, call somebody. It was so many things going through my head at the time I couldn’t even think straight I was just so happy that the last few years of struggle and pain I had been through had finally paid off.
How tough were the last two years for you? Technically you’re a third-year vet, but really you will be playing your first full season in Germany. You played three professional games in the last two years in Canada. How mind boggling is to you that a guy of your talent averaging 16,7 ppg in the NCAA not have a good steady professional basketball job?
These last two years where some of the hardest times I have ever had in my life. It was a point where everything in my life was messed up, I was so hurt mentally and emotionally my mind was on a rollercoaster every day. Dealing with the absence of basketball, personal life issues, and everyday priorities it was enough to try and break me, but one thing I NEVER stopped doing was working towards my goal. I was down bad to my last mentally and financially and invested everything I had left into myself and my workout plan. I refused to give up no matter what I went through. Coming from averaging almost 20ppg in college to sitting in games where I know I was better than the guys that played instead of me hurt me to my soul, then not being able to play at all professionally for some time killed me even more. Nevertheless I used that and everything ANYBODY had ever done wrong to me as fuel to my fire. I would literally be in workouts like, okay he/she lied to me lets kick it up two notches, I got cut let’s kick it up two notches, you think I’m not good enough lets kick it up two notches, I did everything in my power to grind my way out of the crap that I was in, the one thing that kept me going was my mom and her routine and every day when I was younger. I never seen her quit or give up. She was in a race that challenged her at her age not to long ago and something happened to her health and she couldn’t finish I went to check on her and the first things that came out of her mouth where ‘I’m going back next session to finish my race’ its that competitive, never quit no matter attitude that she passed on to me that kept me pushing past all negativity throughout those rough two years.
You have a job, but in the fourth league in Germany. How big is the chip on your shoulder and what is it like starting over again and again like you did in the JUCO and doing now again at a lower level?
The chip is enormous but nevertheless something that I am used to at this point. I love it because I love to prove people wrong and I also am good at making something out of nothing like you seen coming from JUCO that’s something that I never see especially in the area where I am from. I do believe that this will be a great opportunity that I will take full advantage of and supersede all expectations of me and more. The fact that I’ve been waiting on this for so long will keep the fuel fired up in me and never let me take this chance for granted as well as soak up every piece of knowledge I can. Me and my guys guys back home call it ‘seize the moment’ I’ll show how good I am and where I deserve to be just like I did in the beginning of my career.
How thankful are you for BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) head coach Jason Price who knew about you? Was he a big reason why you decided to sign with them?
Words can’t describe how thankful I am for my guy Jason, we saw each other in Vegas and had a real connection after he saw me play and things took off from there. He is a real down to earth guy and definitely showed what a man of his word is all about. I feel like we are going to do really big things this upcoming season.
How excited are you to join a league the Regionalliga that is dominated by guard scoring? How confident are you that you won’t only be an impact player, but a top player in the league?
Ecstatic is an understatement; I mark the days down on my calendar and watch the time like its just seconds away lol I can’t wait to board the plane and land there with a mind ready to enjoy the culture. I’m so confident in my ability and the work that I have put in to not only be a top player but THEE top player in the league. I love the game so much and am a student of the game to the point I never think I’m too good. I can always get better which keeps me going higher and higher to be the best player I can be and as I always tell myself one of THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends or ex teammates play in Germany before?
I do know a small amount about the culture but looking forward to learning so much more. I want to be bilingual and experienced with the different types of food they have to offer. I also heard good things about the October fest and the attraction it brings to people not only from Germany but all over the word. I also had a few friends of the family do time in the military over there and heard nothing but great things from them about the culture.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 193cm guard that can really fill up the stat sheet. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
While working out and playing I’ve heard players such as Paul George, Dam Lillard, I’ve also watched myself and the moves I make some of them look close to Kyrie going downhill, my jump shot has its own type of style to where I feel I can revolutionize it. I personally think I’m a close comparison to Dam Lillard style of play and moves more like Paul George.
You really filled up the stat sheet in your two years at Owens CC (JUCO). Do you feel confident that you can do that again in your rookie season in a league that should be fitting for you to do that?
Yes sir, without a doubt I do believe that I am ready and capable to do ascendingly what I did in JUCO, my division 1 career and every day that I touch a basketball. My killer mentality is what gives me the edge and I look to take full advantage. I have a mindset that is based on being unstoppable.
You can score the ball, rebound and can find your teammates well while also displaying a solid outside shot. What other strengths do you have that will be shown when you step on the court in Germany?
I feel like my athleticism will surprise a lot of people when they see me play. The fact that I can react to certain things so fast, get off the ground so quickly and have sneaky bounce off one foot or two feet going downhill may turn a lot of heads in an amazing way.
You’re a guy that can really fill the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away on the court?
Probably my ability to close out games and hit big shots, I love having the ball in my hands with seconds left to go in the game, down by whatever amount of points and sending guys home with a L. I also have a motor that I play with that doesn’t stop, I can keep going and going which would surprise a lot of people at the pace I can keep that up.
On what area’s of your game will you be working on this summer most so you will be best prepared to make an impact as a rookie in Germany?
I really worked on passes and making decisions in tight spaces, I also worked on shooting the deep three consistently while being tired, so I have legs to still make shots late in games. I’ve been in the weight room diligently working on my weaknesses and taking care of my body as well.
In the last two seasons you were with Saint John Riptide (Canada-NBL Canada) in pre season and played three games with the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (Canada-NBL Canada). What is your summary of this time? Why didn’t your professional career take off in Canada?
Me looking back on those seasons, coaches really didn’t give me a clue as to what was going on, I feel like some wanted veteran experience and others just didn’t have an idea, I showed out as I do at every level I played at and just got better and took those as learning lessons. I became the best version and continued to get better every day. One thing I never did was let those experiences break me as a person.
In the summer of 2018 you played at the Scorers 1st Showcase – Pro Basketball Exposure in Las Vegas, NV and also with Team Minnesota (Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas) playing 4 games avergaing 25.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.0apg. How important was this experience getting your name out in the German market? With Gerrit from Scorer’s First you had a very good contact for the German market?
It played a huge role in my career, me going out there experiencing real pro’s, being around professional coaches, and GM’s and just learning how the game goes. It was very important for me to go out there and put up those numbers so people could see who John Murry really is and what I’m about.
This year you also had experience with the Fort Wayne Flite (CBA). What was the biggest benefit playing for this team in this league?
The biggest benefit for me was learning a different pace and tempo learning how to slow down and process the game at different speeds while scoring the ball efficiently and looking for different areas to accelerate my game. I played behind a coach that believed in me and a mentor on the side that kept me on my toes at all times. It opened my eyes up to what I can do at a high level going into this season.
You began your basketball career at North Central High School. Your school had some well known basketball alumni like Eric Gordon, Jason Gardner and David Logan. The latter two had great careers in Europe. Are they like role models that will help you continue to work hard so you can make your own name overseas?
Yes, those guys definitely are like big brothers who helped pave the way for not only myself but many others who came up along with me. I Talked to David Lo right after I signed, and he also played in Germany and he congratulated me and gave me some strong words of wisdom and how to adapt to the European life. Also, a big brother in my corner who helped me tremendously was Greg Foster who was another European pro who won championships and made a name for himself. I played with Eric Gordon and his AAU team when I was in high school and that brought us closer together as well. All influences from these people helped me mentally in getting where I am because this is not an easy game to play and without head strength it will be hard for any person to last years in this profession.
You played two seasons at Owens CC (JUCO) and put up great stats while reaching two district finals. What do you feel kept the team from not getting the titles?
Honestly nothing that we could control kept us from getting there. An interesting story is both years we lost to a buzzer beater in the final seconds. When you talk about pain, nothing in life hurts more than getting your dreams of championship crushed in the final seconds and you have nothing you can do about it, two back to back years. Both years my team was strong, smart, tough and came to compete every night, we lost a max of 6 or 7 games in 2 years. One of the best teams to go down in the history books, but those loses taught me a lot, I never look at things as losing I either win or I learn and that’s what got me past those memories to a higher level of competition.
How do you feel did your game grow in the JUCO that allowed you to make a smooth transition into the NCAA?
My game definitely grew a lot and it made my transition to the NCAA very smooth so smooth I was ready for action the first day I stepped on campus. Our very first D-1 open gym I didn’t lose a game, I scored or assisted on almost every point and was playing a such a high level I had never played before. I got to my spots and got any shot or play that I wanted I was unstoppable, it really showed how much hard work I had put in over the summer.
You then finished college ball at Austin Peay State (NCAA) playing 56 NCAA games from 2015-2017 You made a considerable jump in your stats averaging 5,7ppg as a junior to averaging 16,7ppg as a senior. What do you feel were the main reasons for being able to elevate your game so much?
The main reason was opportunity, in conference play I averaged 20ppg and was second in player of the year voting and it all came from confidence and being comfortable on the floor. It got to a point where it felt like everything I threw in the air was going to fall in the net, no rim!! There is nothing like being completely free on the court and that’s what happened to me. I was able to just play my game without having any restrictions and have fun, with those things in play the sky is the limit of how good I can really be.
You won the OVC title in 2016 beating Belmont and Tennessee-Martin. Was this your fondest weekend of basketball at Austin Peay State?
Yes, the best weekend of my life in college. I hit a game winner against Tennessee State to play Belmont in the next round and that feeling was unbelievable (that video is on youtube under my highlights). A full weekend of games, no classes, on national TV with the entire fan section behind because we were the underdogs, we made history with that championship and it felt so good. I still talk about winning that ring till this day. There is almost nothing in this world that compares to being a champion coming from the bottom and everybody is voted against you. I love it and enjoyed every second of that weekend.
You made the big dance in 2016 losing to powerhouse Kansas 105-79 and you steered 13 points in 18 minutes. What memories do you have of that game playing against future NBA players like Frank Mason, Wayne Seldon and Cheick Diallo. You held your own against players like these. Was there a big difference in skill level or knowing that there wasn’t continues to give you hope of going your way up the basketball ladder?
Those memories last a lifetime, from walking into the arena and people asking for autographs to the final buzzer sound. I have memories of me going against Wayne Seldon and me thinking in my head he can’t guard me. No matter who is in front of me I always think they have no chance of stopping me. I remember going against Cheick Diallo who was a rim protector and finishing over the top of him going towards the rim, that was a legendary moment for me because he was projected an early pick at that time and was one of the best shot blockers in that conference, for me to finish through him was a moment I will never forget. I believe I made a free throw in that game and my confidence was through the roof off of just one free throw. I remember guarding Wayne Seldom and frank mason and it put into my head I can play in the NBA if this is what the future players in the NBA look like, and I still believe I’ll get to the NBA. In fact, in those games I was actually more skilled then some of them but some of them had a weight advantage and mindset of pro that our team hadn’t tapped into collectively just yet. Playing those guys actually sparked the fire inside my head of ‘John you can get to the NBA’ AND since then that has been the end goal and I have put in overtime to get to that goal. After watching that game, I felt like I looked good and could easily make an NBA roster with a few polishes on my game and a strong agency behind my name coming from a mid-major d1 program.
You had some great games in the NCAA, but was your 33-point explosion in your last game in the win against SE Missouri State your best?
That was definitely one of my best games, but I think the best one may have been a couple games before that when I had 35 against eastern Illinois at home. I was really in a zone the entire game. I loved both of those game because we were down for most of the game and came back to win both of them.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Josh Robinson?
That was definitely a great battle, but I came out on top of that war.
Who was the toughest opponent that you played in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe now
The crazy thing is, it was some people right here in Indiana, surviving and being one the best in INDY is very tough and for me to be one of the best I had to out work and out play the best, so it would be the people that I play against every day in the summer while I’m home that give me the biggest challenge
Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Honestly in my opinion neither of them was the greatest I think Kobe Bryant was the greatest and the scariest killer mentality I’ve ever seen. When I’m locked in zone I like to compare my mentality to the will of Kobe and what he used to do to people. He showed no mercy what so ever
What was the last movie that you saw?
The new Lion King and I loved it lol
Thanks John for the chat.