By Kevin Eickman
Having watched Brion Murray grow from a boy, to a leader, to a man, it has been my pleasure to have a court side seat all along the way. This past Friday night Murray would surpass the 1, 000 point mark in front of the Milford faithful. It was a thrill to be in the house once again.
As the Milford Buccaneers 81-34 victory over Seaford on senior night victory unfolded Friday night, the first thing that came to mind was the first time Murray was interviewed by Milford Live. It was the first game of the Bob Spath era and Milford found themselves in a nail biter against arch rival Lake Forest. It should not have been close, but it was. All courtesy of Murray missing three consecutive free throws in the games final minutes. With Lake just three points down in the final minute of the game, Murray stepped to the line once again, with failure staring him right in the eye. Murray never blinked, he made the charity shot and secured the Buccaneers victory. Murray was asked what he was thinking when he stepped to the line for the crucial shot and the answer was insightful
“I was thinking we were going to be doing some running at practice. Coach likes to make us run and then practice our free throws, just like it is in a game,” he said. It wasn’t about him making the shot for himself, it was about him making the shot for his teammates.
Spath had asked a great deal of the sophomore that evening back in 2014, as Murray would run the point and sacrifice his points for the greater good of the Buccaneers. In the eyes of both Spath and Murray, there was only one reason for it, to make Milford a better basketball team. Speaking with Spath following that same game, he stated that then sophomore, “Brion leads our team in practices and puts forth a tremendous effort every single day. He’s always very positive and he is also a really solid student in the classroom.”
Over the rest of his Milford career, Murray spent all his time trying to make the team better. While he could always score, he knew that it was not just about him. He understood, that if he could make his team better, they would win basketball games. That is all Murray has ever wanted to do, make his teammates better so the Bucs could win.
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With all that in mind, that is what made everything that unfolded on Friday all the more special. At first, it was confusing. Milford had the game in hand, yet they still kept trying to score. More specifically, they wanted Brion to score. This was his game, a game in which every member of the Buccaneers basketball team had a chance to say thank you. Thank you for all he had done for them. The Milford lead kept growing and Murray’s total kept climbing. At the half he had twenty, and he just kept adding to it. His teammates gleefully finding a way to get him the rock. It was a collective thank you, for all he had done for them over their careers.
There was one man that could call it off, Spath. Understanding the respect he has for the game and his opponents, you had to wonder if he was at some point going to pull the plug. “All night long I kind of gave him instructions that I never, ever give players and that was to start leaking out a bit and get some easy baskets.” Spath continued “I don’t know if I will ever do that again, but tonight was a night to benefit him.” When asked about the type of player Murray is, Spath was quick to respond, “He’s a selfless player, he generally has a mind to distribute the ball to his players. Typically the points that he gets are a byproduct of his general work ethic.”
When the moment came which saw Murray surpass the 1,000 point milestone, he was mobbed by his teammates and the crowd roared its approval. “I am very lucky to have the teammates that I do, they kept on getting me the ball tonight and everything just fell into place,” Murray said. “It meant so much to me to be able to do it in front of the home crowd, who have supported me from the first time I stepped on the court here at Milford.”
One of Murray’s closest friends on the team is fellow senior Marcus Correa, who summed the evening up simply. “He is the hardest working guy on the team, he makes everyone of us better, every game. For us to be able to say thank you to him like this on senior night, was very special.”
The Buccaneers have one more game prior to the State Tournament, as they head up to Appoquinimink this Tuesday. Tip is set for 5:45.
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