CEDAR RAPIDS — They could have gone Division I immediately, but another year of getting stronger and better instead is the way they’ll go in hopes of landing more and bigger offers.
Twins Keegan and Kris Murray of Cedar Rapids Prairie announced Tuesday they will spend a post-graduate year playing basketball at DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Murrays were all-staters this past season: 6-foot-8 Keegan a first-teamer and 6-7 Kris a second-teamer in Class 4A. Keegan averaged 20.3 points per game and Kris 18.4.
“Going the post-grad route was mostly about the opportunity that it brings,” Kris said. “Giving myself a year to get bigger, faster, stronger is what many of the coaches have told me that I need to have. Getting an extra year of strictly working on that will be good for me, as well as also going against good competition down in Florida.”
The boys, sons of former University of Iowa player Kenyon Murray, are identical in appearance and have many similarities in their games. They have long arms, can dribble penetrate and shoot it, though they are still growing into their bodies and need to add muscle.
Western Illinois offered both of them scholarships in March, as did several junior colleges. But a visit to DME last month sold them.
“We were deciding between juco or prep school for months,” Keegan Murray said. “We took a visit to DME and, after talking with their staff, we felt like they would give us the tools to be successful at the next level. They have a lot of great players down there, and the competition and the platform they will put us on will allow us to get exposure. It just felt like a great fit.”
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According to its website, DME Sports Academy offers a “wide range of training options for athletes and students who are looking to develop their mind, body and talents.” It has basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and hockey programs.
A recent example of local/area prep school hoops success is David DiLeo. He attended a prep school in New Hampshire for a year following graduation from Iowa City West and has scored over 1,000 career points with a year to go at Central Michigan.
“We went on a visit down there, and it went very well,” Kris Murray said. “They have amazing facilities and coaches that have a lot of really great experience. I love basketball, and getting six months to work on my craft and trying to be the best player I can be is something that you can’t turn down.”
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