Tall Blacks guard Taine Murray has announced that he will be attending the University of Virginia on a 4-year scholarship beginning in 2021.
Virginia are coached by Tony Bennett who led the Cavaliers to the NCAAA Division I Championship in 2019, a team that included Tall Blacks centre Jack Salt.
Bennett, a former NBA player, has a strong association with New Zealand having played for, and coached, the North Harbour Vikings in the late 1990’s.
12 months ago the 196cm wing, after impressing during the Tall Blacks Selection Camp, was chosen for the tour of Japan and Australia eventually making his debut in Sydney, against Canada, at just 17 years of age.
Tall Blacks head coach at the time Paul Henare had this to say about his selection.
“Taine has impressed us all these past few days and quite simply played his way into the 14. He has a composure beyond his years and is going to develop into a very good player, and has already shown that he feels at home at this level.”
Murray has enjoyed plenty of success during the last two or three years. He has won a couple of National Secondary Schools Championship winners medals with Rosmini, an U19 National Championship gold with North Harbour and been presented with his Tall Blacks singlet.
The Rosmini College and North Harbour standout played for the Auckland Huskies in the 2020 Sal’s NBL where the year 13 student made a big impression before breaking a bone in his hand.
A starter in the Huskies line up Murray averaged 17.5 points per game placing him in the top dozen scorers in his debut season in the Sal’s NBL.
He has signed to play as a Development Player for the New Zealand Breakers in the next Australian NBL season but will not earn a salary in order to retain his college eligibility.
Murray fielded offers from a number of Division I colleges. He eventually narrowed to Virginia, Maryland and Stanford before deciding on the Cavaliers.