It’s been quite a year for incoming Brown first-year Mya Murray.
The Uniontown Area High School graduate was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Team, tabbed as the player of the year by her local hometown newspaper, The Herald-Standard, represented her school as a scholar-athlete with a 4.25 GPA, finished second in her district in scoring and completed her high school career with 1,363 points and 1,028 rebounds in her four years playing for Uniontown.
Murray, who graduated on June 4, decided to head to Pittsburgh the day after donning her cap and gown in a socially distanced ceremony to march in a Black Lives Matter protest. Murray and many of her friends were aware of the potential dangers of the event but felt they had a responsibility to act in the face of social injustice.
“I just felt like this movement is really important to me, especially being a person of color,” Murray said. “I have had personal experiences that have shown me that things need to change. My mom has always tried to shelter me from how cruel the world could be, but I still experienced smart remarks and criticism my whole life.
The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:
We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:
As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.
Despite the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, Ivy hoops figures are still making plenty of moves.
Dunphy steps up again
In case you missed it, Temple named former Penn coach Fran Dunphy acting athletic director effective July 1 last week, 15 months after his 30-year head coaching career ended at Temple, which opted to hand over the coaching reins to assistant Aaron McKie and have Dunphy step aside after the 2018-19 season. Dunphy will succeed Patrick Kraft, who will be departing Temple to become Boston College’s athletic director on July 1. (Penn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun was also reportedly under consideration for the BC job, per the Boston Herald.) Dunphy is not expected to be a candidate for the athletic director’s job, but that could change, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported that Temple hoped to have an athletic director named within 90 days.
What is the purpose of collegiate athletics? Is it to win? Or is it to provide as much opportunity to compete as possible?
Brown endorsed the former interpretation with its announcement Thursday that it is dropping 11 varsity programs starting with the 2020-21 academic calendar.
Browns is eliminating varsity men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian as well as men’s track, field and cross country while bumping club coed and women’s sailing up to the varsity level.
Cornell University has announced several 2020-21 calendar options given the threat of COVID-19, though nothing has been decided and the university said the likely course of action will be a mix of these options:
On Friday afternoon, Brown Athletic Director Jack Hayes announced the hiring of Monique LeBlanc as the Bears’ new women’s basketball coach, the fifth in program history.
LeBlanc, a native of Cumberland, R.I., will arrive in Providence after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack College. This past season, when the Warriors made the jump from Division II to Division I, LeBlanc had her best season with a 20-10 record and a 13-5 third-place finish in the Northeast Conference.
Former Columbia standout Patrick Tapé decommitted from Duke, 247Sports reported Thursday, just nine days after the Charlotte, N.C. native reportedly chose Duke over Syracuse, USC and Ohio State, citing close proximity to his family.