Versatility Is A Big Reason Why James Murray-Boyles(Norrkoping Dolphins) Has Gotten So Far In His Basketball Career

James Murray-Boyles (201-F-1997, college: UNCP, agency: Players Group) is a 25 year old 201cm forward from Columbia, South Carolina playing his fourth professional season and first with the Norrkoping Dolphins (Sweden-Basketligan). Last season he played with the BK IMMOunited Dukes Klosterneuburg (Austria-BSL) averaging 15.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 79.5%. He played his first two professional seasons with BKM Lucenec (Slovakia-SBL) averaging 9.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 83.3% in his rookie season and in his second season averaged 13.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 78.8%. He began his career at AC Flora high school and then played 121 NCAA 2 games for the University Of North Carolina at Pembroke improving his points and rebound average per season. In his senior year he averaged 14.8ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.6%. He spoke to about basketball.

Thanks James for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?

Hello! I’m in Norrkoping, Sweden right now and I really am enjoying the basketball life.

How happy are you to be playing the game you love? You have been grinding since school and continue to move up the basketball ladder. What has been your biggest challenge just having to deal with the basketball process daily?

It’s a blessing to be able to play the game at this level. Everyone doesn’t get the opportunity. My biggest challenge I would have to say is balancing my family life while playing in different countries!

Your playing you first season with the Norrkoping Dolphins. What kind of an experience has it been playing for this organization? What have you appreciated most about the experience?

It has been a great experience playing with the Dolphins so far! They are really professional and we’re obviously competing European competition which is always great!

Your playing your first international club competition with the Fiba Europe Cup and playing very solid needing no adjustment period. What do you feel has been key in you being able to adapt so well?

I think that just being confident in the work I have put in over the years. I’ve always had people telling me I had the ability to play on this level and also higher so I just always believed when I got the opportunity I would be able to perform. Also I give a lot of credit to my coaches and teammates for believing in me.

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a 201cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I wouldn’t really compare myself to anyone in the league. But I do try to take from a lot of different players like Brandon Ingram, Kawhi Leonard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, players like that

You’re a guy that can fill out the stat sheet with ease. How much is versatility of a strength in your game?

Versatility has always been a strength in my game for as long as I can remember. I think it is a reason I have gotten this far in the game of basketball.

You always have been a solid free throw shooter, but last season in Austria you were #1 at 94%. Did you take extra shots in the summer of 2021 or what do you credit your success to?

Yes I’ve always been a solid free throw shooter but I definitely shot a lot more in the summer in order to improve.

On what areas of your game are you working on most now so that you can keep climbing up the basketball ladder?

I definitely am trying to improve on my 3 point percentage and just be as efficient as possible on the court overall. Also to show I can rebound at a high level.

Last season you played with BK IMMOunited Dukes Klosterneuburg (Austria-BSL9 avergaing 15.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 79.5%. After playing 2 seasons in Slovakia how do you feel did your game take another step in your third pro season?

I felt like it take a huge step because I had more responsibility on myself. I was able to have the ball in my hands a little more and expand my game more on the perimeter while still maintaining my core strengths.

You had Arkadia’s number scoring 32 and 31 points, but I can imagine you won’t forget the 97-95 loss?

Yes that was a tough game for me to lose. I felt like I played almost perfect but we still couldn’t come away with the win. And it was against one of my best friends from high school, Karl Gamble. So he has bragging rights over me from that game.

You played your first 2 pro seasons with BKM Lucenec (Slovakia-SBL) averaging 9.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 83.3% as a rookie and 13.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 78.8% in your second season. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

My wake up call was as soon as I landed and went to the grocery store. I had never been to Europe before and didn’t have much knowledge of what it was like. So everything was new to me. But once I got on the court everything got better and I realized I could really compete.

What memories do you have of Covid. You seemed to get through it ok playing the whole 20-21 season. There were other guys that weren’t as fortunate.

I remember when covid first hit my rookie year. We had to cut our season short when we were about to make a playoff run. And every year except for this year, covid has had a major effect on my career. Having little to no fans sometimes. Also have to take multiple tesst per week. It has been a crazy time. Luckily I have never gotten it.

What memories do you have of teammate Dominique Hawkins who played at Kentucky. He hasn’t played since the 20-21 season. Was he a victim of Covid in terms of not getting a job? What did you appreciate the most about him?

I loved playing with Dom. He was a great teammate and player. I definitely think he has been a victim of covid as it has been tough for a lot of people after the pandemic hit.

You played at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (NCAA2) from 2015-2019. What memories do you have of these 4 years. What was it like playing in the state of North Carolina and having so many great schools around like NC, NC State or Duke, but playing in the NCAA 2?

I loved my decision to go to my school. It was great. I was able to really showcase my skills from my freshman year and I think if I would have gone to a bigger school it would maybe have been harder to really show what I could do. I always feel like everything happens for a reason.

You were able to improve your scoring and rebound scoring each season in school. What kind of a player were you in 2015 and what kind were you in 2019 when you left?

I definitely improved every single year in school. I’m very proud of that. My coaches and teammates worked with me every year to improve my game and I was way more skilled in 2019 compared to 2015.

You won 2 Peach belt titles in 2017 and 2018. Which one was sweeter?

Both are equally as good for me because it took a lot to get there both years. The journey was different both times.

In the 2018 title over Queens you battled talented Todd Withers. What memories do you have of his game. He is a guy that could still go very far up the basketball ladder.

Queens definitely got the best of us that game. They were a great team and Todd was a great player. That game was definitely motivation for me to become better.

How did head coach Ben Miller groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

He groomed me a lot by always pushing me to be the best I could be. He saw the potential in me from high school and he never let me slack off.

Who won a 1-1 battle in practice you or Akia Pruitt?

Akia is a great player and he came in a year after me. Since the day he came he was a great player to go against in practice. We always used to go back and forth beating each other.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in the NCAA 2 or anywhere else that reached the NBA?

For sure PJ Dozier.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Mike Caffey, Melsahn Basabe, Akia Pruitt, Daniel Mullings, Pj Dozier

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

LeBron, Jordan, Curry, Kobe

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

I always go back and forth on this but I will have to judge when LeBron is officially done playing.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

No I didn’t see it.

Thanks James for the chat.


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