As part of the Final Four fan activities at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday, some of college basketball's most accomplished seniors in Division I competed in the Reese's College All-Star Game. Among them was Minnesota's Jordan Murphy, who recently concluded one of the most illustrious careers in Gophers history.
In his four seasons in maroon and gold, Murphy scored 1,802 points, second in Minnesota history. His 1,307 rebounds and 67 double-doubles are both program records and rank second all-time in the history of the Big Ten. Taking part in the event, Murphy gave the hometown fans another chance to see him in action before his graduation.
"It feels great," Murphy said. "Just to be out there with a bunch of talented players and a lot of players that accomplished a lot, and two really great coaches too. It was just fun to be out there."
Murphy's career as a Gopher came to an end in the second round of the NCAA Tournament two weeks ago after a 70-50 defeat to Michigan State. In that game, Murphy made his 122nd consecutive start, but back spasms limited him to a career-low four minutes of playing time.
"I feel good, I feel great," Murphy said of his back. "Obviously, it's just something where I'm still getting treatment. You have to keep up with your back because it can come back and bite you at any second."
Fittingly, Murphy put up a double-double in front of the many Gophers fans in attendance. In 22 minutes of playing time, Murphy scored 13 points on 5-12 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds. The hometown fans appreciated the effort, showering Murphy with applause whenever he scored.
"That was pretty cool," Murphy said. "To see how many fans came out to support and see me play one more time out here. It's something special that really meant a lot to me, so I appreciate that."
The game on Friday afternoon marked the beginning of a busy weekend for Murphy, who is also competing in the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship, a three-on-three basketball tournament comprised of teams representing each conference in Division I basketball.
Joining Murphy on the Big Ten team are Wisconsin's Ethan Happ, Indiana's Juwan Morgan and Nebraska's Glynn Watson Jr. The Big Ten team will have its first game at 8:30 p.m. Friday night against the Ivy League and then will play the Horizon at 11:50 a.m. and the Big Sky at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The games will take place at the Mall of America.
After that tournament, Murphy will begin his quest to pursue a career in professional basketball. Murphy and Amir Coffey, who declared for the NBA draft earlier this week, both hope to become the first Minnesota player to get drafted since 2004. In order to achieve that dream, Murphy knows he has a lot to prove to scouts.
"Just keep getting better, keep working hard, working on my game," said Murphy of what he will do moving forward. "Working on my shot, working on my handles, my moves, my touch and everything else. Just make sure I showcase my talent wherever I go. Whatever workouts I get, just make sure I'm representing myself the right way."