Profile: Freshman Hussein Murray reflects on the lessons he has learned from basketball


Julia Satterthwaite

By Maggie Roehling

Dribbling a bright orange, brand new basketball down the court, one might think Hussein Murray is just another jock one would find at the local sporting store.

Contrary to this stereotype, Murray has an interesting back-story about being a basketball fanatic and how the game changed his life.

It all began when the Murray family moved from Troy to Rochester Hills. Murray went from playing with his next-door-neighbor-cousins, to playing with a ball in his driveway alone.

His parents noticed and bought him a tall shiny object with a large white-knitted hoop at the top and a square board in the back.

“Finally, I got my first basketball hoop and it changed my life,” Murray said.

Not only did the act of making baskets in his driveway brighten his childhood, but it introduced him to the world of athletics. Murray hopes sports will play a role in his college life as well.

“I’ve been to the University of Michigan and I enjoyed the activity there,” Murray said. “That’s where I want to go. They have probably the most prestigious football program in the United States. Plus, my dad went there, so I want to follow in his footsteps.”

This aspiring competitor hopes to graduate from his dream school with a masters in sports journalism.

“I really like basketball, but I’ve come to realize it’s hard to get into the NBA,” Murray said. “I’m a huge sports fanatic, so to be a sports journalist would be huge for me. It would be really cool to share and discuss my favorite sports with people everywhere.”

Making it into the NBA might be a long-shot for Murray, but dunking on a 8 foot net isn’t. He hopes to make that 10 feet soon.

“It’s a long road, but it feels great to dunk that far,” Murray said. “It takes a lot of athleticism to be able to do that and to be able to do that would be exhilarating.”

Another personal goal of this upcoming baller is to make the varsity basketball team.

“It would be a great experience,” Murray said. “To play at that level would be amazing for me.”

While demonstrating his specific skills on the court is important to Murray, he also prides himself in his in-depth knowledge of the game and those who play it. His large basketball card collection is a testament to his devotion.

“I study the game and I study people’s stats and when they graduated high school,” Murray said. “Also, to be able to see players from when before I was born is amazing too! I have over 700 cards, some dating back to 1980.”

Hussein keeps these basketball cards always in his sight.

“I’m overly attached to every single one of my cards and I won’t let anyone touch them,” Murray said. “I may as well put them in a bulletproof case, like, that’s how protective I am of them.”

One of those cards is Isaiah Austin, Murray’s hero, who has overcome a lot in his life.

“He was blind in his right eye and he worked so hard and became one of the top basketball players in the nation,” Murray said.

Murray is thankful for his collection, his access to sports and for the affluent area where he lives; he suggests that those who complain about having a bad life around Rochester should look outside the city and see what other people around the world are dealing with.

“I’ve come to realize I live in a top 10 county in America,” Murray said. “Not only that, but there are people just like me who have to suffer through the wars in the Middle East. There are people with diseases and problems and disorders, so why should I complain? People have it so much worse.”