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  • Writer's pictureWayne Dawkins

Emerson Jay Murray Turning Misfortune to Inspiration

The last time Emerson Jay Murray from Vancouver, Canada and I crossed paths he was a part of the greatest assembly of high school talent in Canadian Basketball history.

He recovered from a horrible injury and returned to being one of the best high school ballers in his province of British Columbia and earn an invitation to the Canadian Junior National Team Tryouts and a selection to the 9th annual All Canada Classic-Rumble in the T-Dot National High School All Star Game. The 2009 All Canada Classic would be his greatest test to date with Emerson squaring up against Corey Joseph (Toronto Raptors) along side his was team mates Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics) and Brady Heslip (Toronto Raptors). There were many more future pros in his all star game but it was also the only alumni year for the event so Emerson battled legendary high school dunkers Kevin Massiah and Sephton Barrett in the 2009 All Canada Classic Dunk Contest

In 2010 Emerson had another terrific senior year and he would return to Toronto to take the stage at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada for the 2010 All Canada Classic-Rumble in the T-Dot National High School All Star Game, with another assembly of Canada’s greatest talent. This time Anthony Bennett, Canada’s first #1 NBA Draft Pick, Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer, 7’6″ Sim Bhullar, Mack kabongo, Daniel Mullings, Negus Webster-Chan, would be his team mates and match up.

Emerson had finally put what could have been an early career ending injury behind him and the return for his determination was a trip to the next level with a full ride scholarship to U. California Berkeley, where he was apart of Allen Crabbe’s incoming class (Portland trailblazers) as well as learning from Jorge Gutierrez (Brooklyn nets). The PAC 12 at the time was was a very strong conference with virtually NBA players on every team (Terrence Ross, Isiah Thomas, Olay Thompson, Jarred Cunningham, Derrick Williams, Dwight Powell, Dwayne Dedmon, just to name a few). As well as non conference games playing against San Diego States Kawhi Leonard, Boston college’s Reggie Jackson and more.

However, the misfortune of injuries would visit Emerson again after making the decision to transfer from U. California. Seattle U. was his choice to finish his last two years in college to be closer to home and family with more opportunity to play. Playing time would soon no longer be an option because a hip injury would force him to miss 16 games in his junior season. Despite getting off to a difficult start at Seattle U. Emerson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and earned a contract to play in the country of Georgia in the capital city Tbilisi. He gained valuable knowledge of the professional game and led the Georgian team in assists. Emerson then signed to play in the Iranian Super league for their playoffs.

It seems every time Emerson was on track an injury would derail him but this time he’s taking greater precautions and preparing his body for a chance to play professionally at home in the NBL of Canada. It was an injury that opened the door for us to first connect on the basketball court in 2009 when I first got a call from Emerson’s father, Mike Murray in Vancouver, Canada asking if I could help his son. Emerson was a junior at St.Georges High School, in Vancouver B.C. when he suffered a severe fracture to his medial maliolus in his ankle and was just returning to playing. Emerson dad was a legendary track coach that trained Canada’s best in several Olympics and World Championships but he felt it would be best for his son to train with someone experienced in basketball training and athlete development. After a few conversations Emerson was on a flight to Toronto, Canada to stay with me and train for a week. Once again after few short conversations with Emerson and Mike we would reconnect again in Phoenix, Arizona to work together to prepare him for the 2016 NBL of Canada Combine. Emerson has his sights set on continuing his pro career in Canada while embarking on his modelling career with several local brands.

Emerson focus and work ethic is obvious but what is most impressive is his mannerisms. He has always been extremely polite and caring despite enough misfortune to make the coldest hearts warm. Emerson believes his misfortunes are blessings he can use to inspire others to overcome adversity and not lose sight of their goals. He has launched his company “Emssentials” that will provide athlete development and mentorship for youth. Through his modelling career he has partnerships underway with Karma & Soul to run free events helping entrepreneurs network and gain much needed resources.

“It’s refreshing when you come across an extremely talented teenager who’s character grows despite life’s misfortunes. They say character is forged in the fires of adversity but we now it’s not always a guarantee.” – Wayne Dawkins

Emerson Jay Murray is determined to turn his misfortunes into positive life lessons that he can share with as many people as possible. He even views the pursuit of two separate career paths as a professional basketball player and model for the purpose of reaching a more diverse audience.

“Growing up I though the world revolved around sport and basketball but after being sidelined over again by serious injuries, I really starting embracing the adversities that I was able to overcome as experiences I could share with others in similar situations. The relationships gained through my struggles are second to none. Through these interactions many opportunities off the court have formed and become life changing”.- Emerson Jay Murray

Emerson’s Journey of An Elite 1 is still in it’s early stages but with his passion to impact we will see great things sooner than later!

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