Original article posted on NCSA Athletic Recruiting blog.
Lamond Murray lit up Duke for 28 points and 10 rebounds in the 1993 NCAA Tournament, as his Cal team, led by Jason Kidd, knocked Coach K’s team out of the Big Dance. Duke had won the 2 two National Championships, had been to 5 of the last 6 Final Four’s, and featured Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill. Lamond is one of the team of Recruiting Experts for NCSA that speak on Developing Athletes into Leaders and the recruiting process at High Schools, Clubs, Camps and other events.
Former Cal and NBA player Lamond Murray with Charlie Adams
The 6′ 7″ 12 year NBA veteran was in the NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network offices in Chicago recently where I had a chance to talk with him about the recruiting process.
Because of Lamond’s physical size, skills and abilities, he was one of those players that ranked in the top 100 of the nation. Those athletes will be chased. Everyone else cannot afford to wait to be recruited. As Tom Lemming says, if you are not in the top 100 or 200 players in the nation in your sport, you cannot sit back and wait to be recruited. “I remember at one event they literally put the top 100 in one gym and all the college coaches went there to watch,’ recalled Lamond. “I was in there with other High School players like Jason Kidd, Glenn Robinson and Chris Webber.”
As a speaker on recruiting, I am all for athletes shooting for D1 if they have the God given physical size, ability, and commitment level. I spoke at Heritage Christian High in Indy, and folks there talked about alum Kelly Faris, now a big success for Geno Auriemma at UConn. At 5′ 11″ she has the physical size, strengthand ability to play at the highest level. With Lamond, look at his arms in the picture below He has, a a 7 foot wingspan. That kind of thing attracts high level D1.
His arms (and overall basketball ability) made him an effective high-level player because of reach, ability to disrupt passing lines, and on and on. Now, look at his hands. The picture down below is of Lamond’s next to a NCSA employee. When he palms a basketball, the basketball doesn’t look like a volleyball.
It looks like a softball. Again, those are the kind of things that make an athlete a legit high level D1 prospect. That is why it is important to get a realistic 3rd party evaluation. If you have not had a verified, 3rd party evaluation, or if you have not had one in over a year.
“Cal, USC, all of the Pac 10 recruited me and beyond,” Lamond told me. “For me, staying close to home was a big factor (Lamond is from northern California, where Cal-Berkeley is located). “I was scared to go far off,” he joked. “I couldn’t see myself going way off to a place like the University of Kentucky.”
Lamond told me there were players with exceptional athletic abilities near him growing up that messed up the recruiting process. “There was a player named Thomas who put on a show down at the Park playing ball,’ said Lamond. “But he never made it out. Why? He was doing things athletically but off the court he was not taking care of business in the classroom. It bit him in the butt. Now people ask ‘what happened to Thomas?’”
Now retired from pro ball and pushing 40, Lamond is a parent of two athletes that are in the NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network. His 16 year old son right now evaluates to be a low Mid Major prospect. “He is 6’5″ and still growing,” said Lamond. “We have taken unofficial visits to Pepperdine and the University of San Francisco. The West Coast Conference schools (Loyola Marymount, St. Mary’s, Portland and others) are a realistic fit at this point. As a parent, just because I played in the NBA doesn’t mean he will do the same. I would never take that approach that I expect him to play high D1 like I did in College. I want him to find the right fit for him academically and athletically. There is D1, D2, D3, NAIA and Junior College. My 15 year old daughter is a 6’2″ Middle Hitter in Volleyball and right now evaluates to a higher level. We have taken an unofficial visit to USC.”
“Parents have those Love Glasses on,” said Lamond, “and sometimes don’t have a realistic evaluation of their child.” By taking care of his academics in High School, Lamond was able to be accepted to a high academic school like Cal, but he quickly learned there is an adjustment. “I was able to get to Cal because I had the grades and SAT scores to meet admission requirements.” said Lamond, “Wen I got there I learned about how to manage my time, get to class and to practice on time, and that I needed to step it up in the classroom. In my first class in summer school before freshman year, I had a mid term three weeks in. I thought I was doing great, regurgitating facts like in High School. I hadn’t learned how to process information. I got a big, fat ‘F’ on that mid term. I was a ‘B’ student in High School, but needed help. As an athlete, you have access to the best tutors on campus to help you make adjustments. I worked on my writing the rest of summer, and adjusted.”
Having his children in the NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network has given them exposure and him education on recruiting. “When you look at my daughter in Volleyball,” said Lamond, “I had no idea that I should be taping her matches from the baseline. I have a basketball background. I was recording them at half court. I learned through the educational programs that college coaches want Volleyball video form the baseline where they can see footwork, where the ball is placed, and how high they get over the net. Families have got to understand how important it is to know what you are doing with Highlight video.”
Playing College sports is a once in a lifetime experience, and Lamond has fond memories of his days at Cal. “Wherever I go,” said Lamond, “someone comes up to me and talks about that game against Duke. I am 38 and people still come up to me and talk to me about Cal. I have networking abilities now that I never would have had if I had not played College, and that puts you in position to have success in life.”
Thank you, Lamond. As mentioned above, it is important to know what is your realistic fit athletically at the next level, as well as academically and other factors.
To bring Lamond Murray or any of the 30 plus former College and Pro Athletes and Coaches to speak at your School, Club, or Event, contact Dane Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker Charlie Adams
NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network