Former Cat Murray wins ESPY Comeback Player of the Year award
Posted 4:00 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023
university of kentucky
Jamal Murray became the 16th Kentucky men’s basketball player to win an NBA championship when the Denver Nuggets won in 2023, and later became the first player in program history to win an ESPY Award as a Returning Player of the Year. Year when he last took home the award. Wednesday.
Murray joins previous winners such as Klay Thompson (2022), Russell Westbrook (2014), Teddy Bruschi (2006), Evander Holyfield (1997), Michael Jordan (1996) and Dan Marino (1995).
The Kitchener, Ontario native tore his ACL and missed 18 months before returning to the Nuggets for the 2022-23 season. Murray averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists during the regular season, but then dazzled in the playoffs. He had 26.1 points, 5.7 boards and 7.1 assists per game to help the Nuggets to their first NBA championship. He became the first player in league history to record 10 or more assists in each of his first four NBA Finals games and finished the series averaging 10.0 per game.
In one season with the Wildcats, Murray was an All-American and All-Southeastern Conference player. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.14 three-pointers, and 2.2 assists per game. His point average in a single season remains the highest point average of the John Calipari era and is the highest of any freshman in program history. Murray went on a streak of 12 consecutive games with 20 or more points and became the first freshman in school history to accumulate 30 or more points in three games. His 113 3-pointers are the second most in a single season in school history. Plus, he made at least one 3-pointer in 36 straight games, breaking Tony Delk’s record of 34 in a row. Murray went on to be selected seventh overall by the Nuggets in 2016.