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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / July 12.
  • Murphy Comes Off Suspension to Lead Lincoln

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    UNION, N.J. — After serving the first game of a two-game suspension Saturday, Kamari Murphy couldn’t wait to get back on the court Sunday.

    Murphy, 6-foot-9 senior forward, scored 20 points, including a highlight-reel breakaway dunk, and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Lincoln, No. 21 in the USA Today Super 25, to a 63-52 victory over St. Raymond’s in the PrimeTime Shootout at Kean University’s Harwood Arena.

    “I definitely had a lot of anger behind me,” Murphy said. “The incident that happened wasn’t even that serious for me to get suspended for two games. But I just felt like you’ve got to try take advantage sometimes.

    “And I just came out to prove a point this game to show that I am one of the best big men in the city.”

    Murphy was given a two-game suspension by the PSAL for allegedly punching a South Shore player during Thursday’s Brooklyn Borough semifinals.

    He had to sit Saturday when the Railsplitters beat Jefferson, 78-61, for the Brooklyn Borough championship.

    He will miss his second game in Lincoln’s first PSAL playoff game.

    “It will definitely be hard,” he said, “but I’m not going to sulk, I’m not going to complain. I’m just going to sit on the bench and cheer my team on.”

    Murphy and freshman teammate Isaiah Whitehead (18 points, 6 rebounds) were named Co-MVPs for the Railsplitters (24-2), while Lawrence Graves was St. Ray’s MVP after scoring 13 points.

    “Everything is looking good for us right now,” Lincoln coach Tiny Morton said. “I think we’re going to miss Murphy for one more game and then we should have our whole team and get ready for a city run.”

    Murphy’s dunk came late in the fourth quarter on a breakaway when he flushed home a one-handed jam to to put Lincoln up 58-47.

    “I was on the trailer,” Murphy said. “I told one of my guys, ‘I’m trailing,’ he threw a perfect pass. I just had to finish hard.”

    Murphy said he was motivated for Lincoln, a public school that won four straight PSAL titles from 2006-09, to beat St. Ray’s, a Catholic school power.

    “We came out as the underdogs,” Murphy said. “I know a couple of guys said we’re going to have a hard time time with the game.”

    Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, Rutgers coach Mike Rice, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, Texas Christian coach Jim Christian, La Salle coach Dr. John Giannini and Wagner coach Dan Hurley were among those on hand to watch Murphy, Whitehead and St. Ray’s juniors Daniel Dingle (7 points) and Nkereuwem Okoro (15 points).

    “I noticed a lot of coaches,” Murphy said. “That’s why I came out and played hard. Everybody on my team played hard. We all want the opportunity to play D1. More than likely we’re going to get our chance at a big-time college.”

    Murphy plans to attend prep school next season to polish his game, although he hasn’t decided where yet.

    “I feel like now I don’t have a lot of confidence in my dribble game, my pullup game,” he said.

    “Once I go to prep school I’ll get that confidence and I’ll be a complete player.”

    (Photo courtesy Daily News)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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