Strong AAU summer lifts Hampton’s Meghan Murray to Division I level

Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Hampton senior point guard Meghan Murray transformed herself this summer from a Division II target into a D-I commit.

The 1,000-point scorer used eye-opening performances at AAU events in Cincinnati and Louisville to attract the attention of the Kent State women’s basketball coaching staff.

Murray received an offer from the Golden Flash in late August and after visiting the Mid-American Conference school in mid-September for the first time, she committed on the spot.

“I had a pretty good summer,” Murray said. “I think I played well every game and that definitely helped.”

Following her junior season, the 5-foot-5 four-year starter was considering mainly Division II offers, including a host of PSAC schools such as Mercyhurst, IUP and West Chester. Her lone D-I offer was Niagara, a MAAC school.

“She was getting Division II offers left and right, and she just kind of waited patiently and kept working hard,” Hampton coach Tony Howard said. “I’m ecstatic for her.”

Murray, who plays travel ball for the Pittsburgh Slaam, said the most important tournament was the week-long Run 4 the Roses Classic in July in Louisville, Ky. She heard from the Kent State coaches shortly after the event. Murray took her official visit Sept. 15-16 and saw enough to pledge to attend before she left campus.

“It was so nice,” she said. “The campus was beautiful. The program, I love the coaches and the girls. Their facilities were super-nice. I just loved it overall … so I just committed.”

Murray, who plans to ink a national letter of intent during the November signing period, is the second D-I commit in Howard’s nine seasons. The other was 2018 graduate Laryn Edwards (Loyola, Md.).

“She’s definitely worthwhile to play at that level,” Howard said of Murray. “I think it’s going to be a good situation for her, and I think they got themselves a great player.”

Murray last season averaged 19.7 points, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals and earned unanimous first-team all-Section 2-5A honors. She has scored 1,032 career points — despite having her freshman season abbreviated by the covid shutdown — and is on pace to pass Ali Collins (1,383), who is believed to be the Talbots’ all-time scoring leader.

Kent State went 21-11 last season (12-6 in the MAC) and reached the WNIT under coach Todd Starkey, who is entering his eighth season. Murray is unlikely to be intimidated by the demands of D-I basketball. She has five older brothers and competed against third- and fourth-grade boys when she was in kindergarten. Howard said Murray is “the hardest practice player I’ve ever had.”

“I’ve known since middle school that she had this in her,” Howard said. “She put the work in. We knew for a long time that she could play at that level.”

In the meantime, Murray will try to lead the Talbots back to the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs in her final high school season. Official practice starts in mid-November.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always dreamed of playing Division I and making the NCAA Tournament,” Murray said. “It’s really surreal to be able to accomplish that. It feels like I’ve put my whole life toward it, and I finally accomplished it.”


More Basketball

High school roundup for Dec. 9, 2023: Penn Hills, Gateway win at Central Catholic tournament
Norwin boys take the measure of Latrobe at WCCA Showcase
Kiski Area beats host Hempfield at WCCA Showcase
Westmoreland athletes of the week: Yough’s Autumn Matthews, Southmoreland’s Ty Keffer
A-K Valley high school athletes of the week: Plum’s Megan Marston and Kiski Area’s Isaiah Gonzalez