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Canadian Makes NBA Hoops History

Jamal Murray's exceptional playmaking and scoring abilities helped the Nuggets reach new heights during their championship run

The Denver Nuggets just won their first NBA Championship, and Kitchener Ontario’s own Jamal Murray played a pivotal role in securing the win. 

Jamal led the Nuggets–In partnership with Finals Most Valuable Player Nicola Jokic–to a four-game-to-one series victory against the Miami Heat. He averaged 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds per game. He made many clutch shots to help secure the win.

Even more impressive, Jamal became the first player in NBA history to have at least ten assists in each of his first four NBA Finals games. He is also the fourth player in NBA Finals history to average 20 points and ten assists, joining Hall of Fame legends Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

His Finals heroics follow an outstanding regular season as one of the NBA’s top shooting guards.  He averaged 20 points, six assists and four rebounds per game. to help the Nuggets to the best record in the Western Conference. During the playoffs, he scored 30 points or more in ten games. 

The 26-year-old Murray was born in Kitchener, Ontario. He attended Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, later transferring to Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, where his father was an assistant coach.

Jamal decided to go to college at the NCAA basketball powerhouse, the University of Kentucky. He played for one year there under coach John Calipari, averaging 20 points per game which were the most by any freshman in Kentucky’s storied program history. Jamal decided to enter the NBA draft after his first year.

The Denver Nuggets picked Jamal with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

Having just ended his sixth season, Murray’s impact on the Denver Nuggets cannot be overstated. His exceptional playmaking and scoring abilities helped propel the team to new heights during their championship run. The Nuggets coach Michael Malone praised him, saying, “Jamal is a true leader on the court. He’s the engine that drives our team forward!”

But, despite his success down south, Murray has never forgotten his roots. He carries his Canadian heritage with immense pride. He often talks about the importance of his roots, saying, “Being Canadian is part of who I am. It’s what makes me special!” 

Jamal has shown his True North pride by being a frequent participant on Canada’s various national teams. Last year, Murray made a three-year commitment to play with the Canadian senior men’s national team. Let’s hope he helps bring home medals from the upcoming world championships and Olympics. 

Although he has been a trailblazer for Canadian Hoops, it hasn’t been all roses for Murray. His path to the podium is more remarkable, given he had to overcome a catastrophic injury just two years ago.

While driving to the hoop in 2021, Murray suffered a “clean” ACL tear which required surgery.

The rehab was long and taxing. Murray missed all of the 2021-22 season rehabbing, and it was 539 days before he could play in another Nuggets game. 

Murray says his Canadian roots gave him the tenacious work ethic and a never-say-die attitude he needed to overcome his injury and help the Nuggets’ journey to NBA glory.

As a rising star in the NBA, Murray has become a symbol of Canadian excellence in basketball. His success inspires young athletes across the country, showing them that they can reach their dreams with dedication and passion.

If you live in Kitchener, keep your eyes peeled Murray may bring the NBA Championship trophy home for a visit this summer. 

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