Catching up with Tymell Murphy

Senior Tymell Murphy scored 19 points in his final outing at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

By Alejandro Solana/Staff Writer

With a new coach, post-season ban, and a difficult season ahead of him, Senior Tymell Murphy decided to stick around at FIU and finish out his college basketball career in South Florida despite the challenging situation.

Last sunday night, “Ring Worm,” a nickname Murphy said was given to him while playing basketball at Rucker Park many years ago, was able to display his talents to the home crowd of FIU for the last time of his career when the Panthers faced off against Tulane, a game they won fairly easily 73-47.

On a night where Murphy had the chance to play in front of a decent audience that even featured some star power, NFL star Colin Kaepernick, the game was really about just another Murphy. Not the two time team leading scorer the last two seasons for FIU, but instead Tymell’s Mother, Nicole Murphy.

“My emotions were kind of built up for that game because my Mom was there to see me play.” said Murphy.

It was only the second time Nicole Murphy had ever seen her youngest son play basketball, so one could only imagine how overjoyed the Brooklyn native was to have his mother in attendance.

The last time Murphy was able to watch her youngest son Tymell play was their regular season battle against Georgetown when the Panthers traveled to the nation’s capital to face the Hoyas. According to Murphy, his mom never had the opportunity to watch him play basketball as he was growing up in Brooklyn, but was always one of his greatest supporters off the court.

“She actually just used to hear stories about me and my brother (Lahmell Murphy) playing basketball behind the building we lived at. They would say, ‘Ms. Nicole your son is so good at basketball’. She of course would come back and tell me that random people were telling her that she had to catch a game one day, so im glad It was finally able to happen.” Murphy added,  “After losing to Georgetown, it was tough but at the end of the day she got to see her son play well and get the victory on his last home game so I’m glad I was able to get that done for her.”

Murphy, originally a New York Knicks fan, admitted to lately leaning more towards the Nets who are now based in his home town. Is it possible that this decision has to do with how the Knicks have performed so far this season? Maybe, but Murphy insisted his love for the Knicks will never leave him.

“I gotta be a Nets bandwagon fan, and I don’t mind saying that. When the Knicks play the Nets, I have to support the new franchise in my home town of BK, but when they play anyone else, I’ll always support my Knicks,” said Murphy with a smile on his face, probably because he himself knows it has been a tough season for any Knick or Nets fan.

Murphy has been vocal in the past supporting FIU’s star athlete Jerica Coley. According to Murphy, the two have worked out together in the past and are both fans of each other’s game.

“It was an honor to watch her play my two years here,” said Murphy.The things she was able to do and the plays she was able to make.. I had never seen something like that in person, especially in the Womens’ game. I got to watch her every night and she was just amazing every time.”

According to Murphy, Coley is his favorite college basketball player. When asked if they had ever played one on one, Tymell’s response was a quick “No way!” and added, “we worked out a few times and she just dusted me everytime. But other than that no, I just love to watch her play and I wish her the best.”

So after a season where he averaged just under 17 points a game and has a career field goal percentage of 57 percent, only one question remains. What’s next for Tymell Murphy?

“In my eyes, my best possible future is the NBA. In my eyes, I feel like I can entertain and compete at the next level and have a future there.” said Murphy. “As a kid I always dreamed of playing in the NBA, and it is crazy to think now and how much I am reminded by my closest friends from back home that my dream may actually be coming true. Just the thought that other people are telling me that I have the opportunity at the next level is amazing.”

Murphy did not rule out playing overseas if the opportunity was there and if the NBA didn’t work out.

“I want to continue playing basketball no matter what, so of course I’ve thought about that and I will make the best decision when I need to.”

Whether it is the NBA or any other venture that Tymell Murphy takes on in the future, he will always be remembered for his two great seasons here at FIU. It isn’t everyday that you come across a guy who not only is as skilled as Murphy, but also intelligent and personable as he is. Whatever is next for the humble man that is Tymell Murphy, you can be sure that he will give it his all and make the best of his opportunity.


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