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Veteran guard Murry joins Hamamatsu

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Nile Murry, a dependable backcourt leader for four bj-league franchises, has joined his fifth club in the fledgling circuit.

The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix on Thursday announced Murry had finalized a contract with the club for the 2014-15 season.

The 193-cm Murry spent the past three seasons with the Niigata Albirex BB, helping one of the league’s two charter franchises reach the Final Four in May 2013.

Now, he’s ready to make an impact for the Phoenix, who went 27-25 last season and advanced to the playoffs under coach Tomoya Higashino.

“I am looking forward to this upcoming season,” Murry said in a statement posted on Hamamatsu’s website. “I am happy to be a part of the Phoenix organization. I look forward to competing with my new teammates and giving our best out on the court…”

The 31-year Murry began his pro career with the Toyama Grouses in 2006 and spent one season there. After playing in Puerto Rico and Hungary, Murry returned to Japan in 2008 and spent two seasons with the Osaka Evessa before moving on to the Rizing Fukuoka for the 2010-11 campaign. (He scored a career-high 20.0 points per game for Osaka in the 2008-09 season.)

Last season, Murry appeared in all of Niigata’s 52 regular-season games (the Albirex went 31-21) and their four playoff contests. In all of those games, he averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals. He sank a team-high 87 3-pointers. He converted 80.3 percent of his free-throw attempts.

Murry’s college career was split between two schools, Temple (first two seasons) and Texas Christian, where he played his junior and senior years.

In a February 2007 interview with The Japan Times, Murry listed Ray Allen, Mike Bibby and Kobe Bryant as his favorite guards at the time.

“Growing up, my favorite player was Jason Kidd,” he said at the time.