By Dylan Hoosier and Jy'ahzhannae Taylor
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
NBA Hall of Fame guard and former Purple Eagle Calvin Murphy returned to his alma mater, Niagara University, to be honored, remembered, and to share stories with Niagara’s current men’s basketball team. Murphy also was on hand to celebrate his participation in the NU bobblehead series.
There have been many memorable Purple Eagles who have played in the Gallagher Center, but one basketball player stands out. Murphy may not stand tall – he is measured to be 5’9 – but his impact as a basketball player at Niagara University has proven immeasurable.
Murphy averaged 33.1 points per game over his three-year period as a Purple Eagle, from 1967-1970. Each year, Murphy was an NCAA Division 1 basketball All-American, alongside other All-Americans such as Pete Maravich and Rich Mounts. In his last year, 1970, Murphy led the Purple Eagles to the NCAA Tournament, where the team advanced to the second round.
On Feb. 11, Murphy returned to the Gallagher Center on “Calvin Murphy Night,” where he was recognized and remembered by fans, students and players.
“I owe the school. They don’t owe me anything,” Murphy told the Buffalo News.
The Norwalk, Connecticut, native is a member of the Niagara University Basketball Hall of Fame and possesses the distinction of being the shortest basketball player to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
To close out “Calvin Murphy Night,” the Niagara men’s basketball team used a second-half, 17-point comeback to defeat Quinnipiac, moving into fourth place overall in the MAAC Conference.
Leading the Purple Eagles was star senior guard Noah Thomasson, who finished with a near triple-double: 21 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Thomasson and Murphy are both Houston natives and point guards.
This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.