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An exclusive diary from the Notre Dame forward
Taking on the Teams
By Troy Murphy
Troy's Trek: Part I | Part II

Right now, I'm at the airport in Cleveland, getting ready to board a flight for New Jersey. My whole L.A. workout schedule that I was talking about last week is a thing of the past because now I'm traveling all over the country to work out for individual teams, pretty much up until the day of the Draft.

I was at the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp from Friday until Tuesday. This involved everyone who has the prospect of being drafted. They weighed me, they had all sorts of doctors look at me; we did our vertical (jump), we did every kind of test that you can think of. It was cool. I pretty much knew a lot of the other players, but it was also fun just seeing guys that you recognize from TV. And seeing that some guy who's supposed to be 7-feet is really 6-9 and some guy who's supposed to be 6-9 is really 6-5. It's deceiving. I really am 6-11 though. Trust me.

There were 17 of us who didn't have to play in the camp tournament and it was nice not having to play because those guys had to be in Chicago for an entire week. I'm sure that was tough. I wanted to enjoy L.A. for as long as I could because I knew I'd be hitting the road soon enough. I just worked out for the Cavs this morning and as I said, I'm about to get on a plane to out to Newark and work out for the Nets tomorrow. This was my third team meeting -- I've already worked out for Seattle and Washington. They're long and it's a tough process, you know, flying all over the country. I guess that's just what you have to do to get ready for the NBA.

But it's not like it's just me working out with everyone watching me. In Cleveland, there were three other guys -- Zach Randolph from Michigan State, and Gilbert Arenas and Richard Jefferson from Arizona. It was nice because I already knew Gilbert from our L.A. workouts, but they didn't let us play on the same two-on-two team though.

Murphy
Murphy and the Irish celebrated an upset win over Georgetown in January and then recently, he worked out for Washington's professional team. AP Photo
So I started the day, like everyone should, with a good breakfast. I had some eggs, a muffin, a yogurt, some milk and orange juice. I worked out and then took one of these mental tests they have you take. They have you take these tests to see if you're going to go crazy about 25 games into the season, I guess. They asked you all sorts of questions, such as, "Your friends think of you as: This or that." There were more than 200 questions and it took about an hour. It was different because with the Washington Wizards, we didn't really have one of these tests, and in Seattle it took about 10 minutes. This one wasn't hard; it was just long.

We don't do much in these cities besides play basketball, which is fine by me. It's been fun. At night, usually we go out with a player personnel guy or maybe a general manager and they take us out to dinner to kind of get to know us before the workout.

Speaking of dinner, I'm on this diet where I can't have any sports drinks, which is tough because I'm used to drinking a lot of it, especially at Notre Dame. They have me drinking water and eating a lot of chicken. I think with sports drinks, there's a lot of sugar and if you don't exercise after drinking them, the sugar gets stored into fat. So I was getting fat stored on me.

The new diet has decreased my body fat and I've lost about 15 pounds, which has made me lighter and quicker in terms moving around the court. Also, for the first couple days, it made me really crabby. Ask my mom -- she caught my crabbiness firsthand. I've been OK since. It was just hard to get used to this diet at the time because I like to eat pizza and cheeseburgers, but those days are long gone.

I might work out for Golden State, but that's not definite and if I do work out there, then I won't be going back to L.A. before the Draft. So at the two-week mark before the big day, my schedule looks something like this: I'm going to New Jersey tonight, then from New Jersey to Detroit, Detroit to Boston, Boston to Golden State, Golden State to Houston and Houston to the Draft. It's a brutal schedule.

My girlfriend, Jessica, was with me in L.A., but now that I'm on the road, she's gone back to Philadelphia where her family lives. She's a chemical engineering major at Notre Dame and definitely deserves a relaxing summer vacation. At least when I go out to Jersey, I'll be close enough to Philly so I can see her. And she'll hopefully be able to go to the Draft with me, if I get invited to go out there.

They're calling my flight, so I guess I'd better get on board. I'll check in, probably from Boston, next week!

 
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