Murphy Happy Chicago is Home
Shay Murphy knows she’s fortunate. Very few people have the opportunity to make it as a professional athlete.
“I’m just so blessed to able to play basketball. I actually really love it and I enjoy playing it everyday,” says Murphy.
But not every pro has it easy getting started. Through the first five seasons of Shay’s career, an experience she describes as “rocky,” she was a part of five different WNBA organizations before ultimately signing with the Sky, her sixth team, in July of 2011 after joining the Sky for a brief stint at the end of 2010.
And now the five-foot-eleven guard appears to have found a home in Chicago.
Through the first half of the 2012 season, Shay’s outstanding play has earned her solid minutes off the bench and she is averaging 8.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. The USC Trojan alum has been highly successful from beyond the arc, and she ranks fifth in the WNBA in three-point percentage.
Interestingly enough, Murphy has also made her mark for another team this summer. She missed five games this season when she traveled overseas and helped the Montenegrin national team qualify for the 2013 European Championships. It is not lost on her that qualifying for the European Championships gets both her and Montenegro one step closer to the 2016 Olympics.
“Watching the Olympics has definitely motivated me to want to be there. To be able to represent a country and be a part of that is a huge experience. That’s my goal, and I pray to God that I get there one day,” said Murphy.
Since her return to the Sky in early July, Murphy has reach double-figures in scoring in all but one game, including back-to-back 20 point performances. “Hopefully I can stay confident and help the team. I have a long ways to go but I just hope I can keep getting better.”
Murphy thanks all the players she has previously played with for helping her become the player she is today. “All my experiences from playing on team to team have helped me. I’ve learned a lot and played with many great players like Tamika Catchings, Katie Smith, Katie Douglas, Alana Beard.”
Murphy also praised Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman and her staff for the work they have done.
“The coaching staff has done a great job because they really care about you not only as a player but also a person. I know that they have the best interest at heart for me and they want me to get better. I feel so confident playing for them and they motivate me,” Murphy said.
“She has the collegiate coaching experience, the professional overseas and here, it’s just an amazing combination,” she continued. “You have someone that can light fires in their players, while motivating them to get better and teach them at this level…it’s an amazing combination.”
“I can’t explain how happy I am to be with this club and around these people. No matter how long it is for, my moments here in Chicago have been nothing but positive.”
The way Shay is playing this season, she’ll be able to continue to live the dream.