Off the Court:
TROY MURPHY

(Photo by Jessica Hoffman)

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When he was young, Murphy was given a bit of advice hell never forget: Work as hard as you possibly can; while youre resting, somebody else out there will be working, getting better at his game.

Its evident he took it to heart.

While at Notre Dame, Murphy quickly developed a reputation for practicing long after most students had called it a night.

And years before that, when he was just a kid, Murphy took on much bigger guys in an effort to get better at his game. He got his first taste of stiff competition down at a neighborhood park where his father had taken him to play basketball. Even on the days his father didnt play, Murphy, a fifth-grader at the time, would show up at the court to see if he could pick up a game.

He and his opponents had little in common except the love of the game.

While Murphy was coming from elementary school in Sparta, N.J., the other guys were getting off their jobs as day laborers. He wasnt intimidated by the fact he was a lot younger.

They played real rough, but I was a bit bigger and stronger than other kids my age and I just really liked to play, said Murphy, who was just over 6-feet tall, even then. It was good for me to play against them. I just knew I wanted to be as good of a player as I could be.

My parents would have to drag me off the court."

As an only child, he also displayed natural talent in other sports. His schedule was packed with various sports camps. I played football, basketball, baseball when one thing was over I just went to a different sports camps," he said.

A growth spurt in high school prompted him to hone in on basketball. As a freshman, he was about 6-2. By the end of his sophomore year, he was a full six inches taller. He thought he had a good shot at making it to the pros when he saw he was able to compete against some of the best players in the nation during an all-star camp.

Off the court, Murphy also found he had a natural talent with numbers, counting math as one of his best subjects. That led him to study economics and finance while at Notre Dame.

In his spare time, he likes checking out things that are thought-provoking like his favorite movie, American Psycho.

I like that kind of out-of-the box type of movie," he said. "Its crazy when you think there could be normal-people out there with this dark side. It takes place in New York during the 80s, the time that I was growing up."

Murphy also likes to travel. His most recent vacation took him to France, where he tried to practice some of his basic skills at speaking French.

It was a futile effort, he said with a laugh. I just enjoyed being in a new country, trying to adapt."

When the Pacers are on road trips, youll most likely find Murphy killing time reading biographies or the latest books by American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.

He also likes to watch movies, get carbohydrates from his favorite Italian dishes and tune into music by some of his favorite artists, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers and Coldplay.