Focused on the Future

Max Murrell | Senior | Millard North High School

When Millard North senior Max Murrell started playing on the freshman basketball team, he never imagined he’d be recruited by Division I schools from as far away as California, Virginia, and Texas. “I never really envisioned myself as someone playing at a high level in college,” he said. A down-to-earth kid, Murrell’s basketball dreams seemed to be shattered when he broke his right tibia and severed his patellar tendon the summer before his freshman year. Surgery was followed by six weeks of crutches and six more weeks of not bending his leg. “It was tough, mentally, thinking about how I was going to come back and whether I was still going to be as good.”

Murrell had to have a second surgery in the spring, but the following summer before his sophomore year, his basketball career really took off. “I was swinging JV and varsity and then by the end of the year it was just varsity, and I was starting. I got my first offer the summer before my junior year to UMKC (University of Missouri—Kansas City), and then the summer after my junior year is when everything kind of blew up. I started getting offers from places like Creighton, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Drake, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, and TCU.”

The Millard North varsity team had five seniors this year who played together since they were freshmen. The team was focused on redeeming themselves after a buzzer beater in districts kept them out of the state tournament last year. “It was really upsetting to the whole team,” Murrell said. “We don’t want that feeling ever again.”

After considering all his options, Murrell accepted the offer from Stanford. He said it was kind of tough for his family. “I think they definitely had places that they wanted me to look at more than others, but we’re all pretty happy with the decision I made. They did a really good job of letting me come to that decision on my own.” Murrell is looking forward to playing for Stanford, but he hopes to someday have a professional career in the NBA or overseas. “I always want to play at the highest level that I can.”

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