Dark Horse Spotlight

2021 6’6 G Aidan Murphy

There are plenty of high achievers in classrooms around the country. But not many of those high-academic students can shoot the basketball like Aidan Murphy.

2021 6’6 G Aidan Murphy

2021 6’6 G Aidan Murphy

Indeed, the 6’6 Murphy is among the area’s top perimeter sharpshooters slated for graduation in 2021, and he’s earned that reputation while maintaining a 5.64 GPA. With all honors and AP classes at Glenbard West High School, Aidan was inducted into the National Honors Society this spring.

According to his skills trainer, Prosper Basketball’s Josh Ruggles, it’s Aidan’s unparalleled work ethic that allows him to succeed both on and off the court. “Aidan is one of the hardest working players I have trained. He is always looking for ways to improve and will push through almost anything to outwork others. In fact, Aidan has come to workouts while injured just to do form shots on the side for an hour and a half. It’s no surprise that he’s able to balance so many areas of his life at the same time”. Justin Pierce, a recent graduate of North Carolina’s Men’s Basketball program and a former Glenbard West star, echoed Ruggles’ comments on Murphy, pointing out that “we would often work out at 6 AM before his high school classes started, and not many kids are willing to do that”.

That work ethic has turned Murphy into a tremendous scoring threat on the basketball court, which was evident this winter as he played a vital role for an excellent Glenbard West team. His high school coach at Glenbard West, Jason Opoka, says of Aidan, “Aidan Murphy displays a calm demeanor that motivates his teammates.  He is a positive leader who enjoys constructive criticism”. Aidan sports a smooth perimeter shooting stroke and deep range, it’s his ability to move off the ball makes him especially lethal offensively. Likewise, his basketball IQ manifests itself when he puts the ball on the floor, as he does an excellent job of reacting to defenses and determining whether to rely on a midrange pull-up versus kicking the ball to a teammate for a shot in rhythm.

Aidan’s physical strength is another aspect of his game that has helped him to capture the attention of college coaches. Though he continues to develop his body in the weight room, Aidan has a strong upper body and is built with a frame that will allow for rapid muscle development on a college lifting program. His strength makes him a plus defender when matching up with guards and wings alike.

Eric Sanborn, who trains Aidan at Physical Fusion, has seen immense gains in Aidan’s strength in the past few months alone. “As Aidan’s strength and conditioning coach I’ve seen tremendous improvements since I started with him in February. Coming off a knee injury he has put on 20lbs, improved his speed, change of direction, nearly doubled his trap bar deadlift, and added 9 inches to his vertical.  He’s a tremendous athlete and someone that puts his efforts beyond expectations.”

Though the NCAA’s dead periods resulting from the COVID pandemic have kept coaches from watching Aidan live throughout the spring, he has already become a priority recruit for strong college programs and high-academic institutions alike in recent weeks. This trend will only continue as more coaches turn their attention toward the 2021 class.

Now, allow us to introduce you to Aidan in his own words:

  1. As you think ahead toward your ideal college situation, what factors are most important to you in picking a school? What are you looking for in a school and basketball program?
    When looking at a school the biggest factors for me are a high quality education and finding a basketball program that prioritizes building a culture and developing relationships. That will lead to winning, so I feel like all great programs need those things. I also want to compete at the highest level I can and improve every day.
  2. From your perspective, what are your greatest on-court strengths that you will bring to your future college program?
    My greatest on-court strengths are my ability to shoot the ball and my defense, specifically being in the right spots to contest shots and take charges. My ability to shoot the ball with little space from anywhere on the floor will translate very well at the next level. I love taking the big shots in key moments.
  3. During this coronavirus-inflicted “shelter-in-place”, which aspects of your game are you working to improve? And how are you being creative with your workout routine?
    The two biggest things I’ve been working on during the quarantine have been my handles and my ability to finish at the rim. I’ve been going on long walks and jogs around my neighborhood just dribbling the ball and making moves. I’ve also been shooting in my backyard and working on finishes. The quarantine has also given me a great opportunity to gain muscle and lift a good amount.
  4. If we asked your teammates what their favorite part about playing alongside you was, what would they say?
    My teammates would probably say my positive attitude and the way I pick them up no matter the situation. I also try to make sure everyone is connected and together, because togetherness is vital to creating a winning culture. This is especially true in games when things get hectic, and I constantly focus on keeping everyone calm so we can continue to play to the best of our ability.
  5. During this time in which college coaches cannot travel to watch you play live, what’s one thing you’d like for those coaches to know about you?
    I would like coaches to know that I have a great work ethic inside and outside the classroom, and that I feed positive energy into everyone I’m around. I work very hard to achieve my goals and will give everything for my teammates as well as coaches.

Interested in learning more about Aidan?

Additional film, academic information, and other recruiting updates are available to college coaches upon request. Email bruggles@darkhorserecruits.com to learn more.