Rakim Murphy: A New Star on the Track

Murphy making his way to the finish line! Source: Daniel Martinez

What if I told you that Rakim Murphy made his debut for the Greenville University men’s track and field team and earned the SLIAC Men’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week in the same week? Many would say that’s crazy and he must be talented. That is exactly what Murphy is, talented.

All the way from Fresno, California, Murphy is currently a junior, but he was a three-sport athlete at Hoover High School. He played football, basketball, and also ran track. Murphy is now a dual-sport athlete here at Greenville University. He is currently a shooting guard for the talented GU basketball team and he also runs track for the Greenville Panthers.

Murphy getting feedback after one of his races. Source: Daniel Martinez

As a kid, Murphy grew up in a family of athletes, so it was only a matter of time before he joined the legacy of his family. He started his track career in the eighth grade with his gifted athleticism by running the open 200, 4×100, 4×400, and jumping in the long jump. 

Playing basketball all four years of high school, Murphy is known for his incredible ability to jump. He jumps so high you would think the guy has springs in his shoes the way he jumps out of the gym. When asked about how he is able to jump so high, he couldn’t even answer the question.

He said, “It is pretty much a gift and I put in the work.” As you watch Murphy play on the court, he considers himself a mixture between LeBron James with his explosive dunks and Stephen Curry with his lights out shooting from behind the three-point line. What made Murphy pursue basketball was watching his father as a kid playing in adult basketball leagues and always seeing his older sibling play.

Murphy grew up in a family that traditionally played basketball, along with other sports. Even his little brother is running track and playing football, along with his little sister who is running track and cross country. Sports really do run in the family! 

Murphy in the lead! Source: Daniel Martinez

Murphy started his football career at the age of six, playing Pop Warner football until he was fourteen years old. Football is something he really loved to do because it came to him so easy and it was fun. Along with his speed, Murphy said he usually didn’t drop anything and could catch. Whenever he had the gloves on, he was catching literally everything.

With his height being 6’ 1″ at the time and playing wide-receiver, many people had a tough time tackling him on the gridiron. Many big schools showed interest in Murphy to play football with some being Idaho University, UC Davis, and one of the top junior colleges in California, Fresno City Community College.

As of now, Murphy is still dominating in both basketball & track at Greenville University. This past basketball season he was also a part of the record-breaking game of scoring 200 points in a single game. Contributing to the Panther basketball team this past season, Murphy averaged 12 points per game.

He has had a very solid start to his track career here at Greenville by earning SLIAC Player of the Week! He placed first in the long jump by jumping 22ft 11in, took third in the 100-meter dash running an 11.2, seventh in the 200 running a 22.39, second in the 4×100, and also ran the 4×400.

Take note that this track meet he competed at was his as a Panther.

A tweet from GU Panthers about Murphy’s accomplishment! Source: GU Panthers Twitter

What inspires Murphy to run track is his mom, uncles, and two older sisters because they all ran track. Murphy stated, “Honestly, track is really fun simply because you get to compete.”

Growing up playing tag he was always the fastest kid and nobody could catch him. That translated well into how quick he is today. A quote that he goes by is “Everyday is not promised.”

Murphy in the zone during his race! Source: Daniel Martinez

Big things are cooking up for Murphy as he goes into his final year as a Panther next year. We look forward to seeing another great season on both the court and the track. Good luck to Murphy as he completes his debut year on the Panthers track and field team.

Media by Daniel Martinez.


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