CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — He’s a hard guy to miss. Jay Murphy stands 6-foot-9 and dwarfs all the dedicated Boston College fans whose hands he shakes as he finds his way to his courtside seat at Conte Forum. An Eagle legend, today is a special day for the Hall of Famer. Today his son, Alex, has come home.
The elder Murphy takes his seat just feet behind the Duke bench where Alex has spent the majority of his season. This is the first time Alex has been in the arena since attending Eagles games as a child in North Smithfield, R.I. and the first time he’s donned a color besides the maroon and gold.
“I’ve been here a lot because I was a B.C. fan growing up,” Alex said. “I’ve been to a lot of games and remember guys like Troy Bell and Craig Smith and those type of guys. It’s pretty cool to be back here, it’s a little different playing here than watching but it was fun.”
Alex played his high school ball just 33 minutes from Conte Forum at St. Mark’s in Southborough and Boston College was even in the running to land the local forward for much of the process. The lure was obviously there with his father, a 1999 inductee to the Boston College Varsity Hall of Fame, but Duke eventually won out to earn his services.
He would check in for his first minutes against his father’s alma mater just after the under-12 media timeout to round of applause from his family, friends and those who knew and played against him during his high school years.
“A bunch of family made it; dad, mom, brother, aunts, uncles, friends, anybody that could make it up,” Alex said. “Unfortunately there was big storm this weekend so it was tough to make it out but they managed to get up here and see me.
“Luckily a lot of games are nationally televised so they can see me play but to have them see me play in person and see them after the game was really cool.”
His first trip to Conte as a Blue Devil was short, just six minutes, but for those six minutes you could see that a Boston College legend had been temporarily converted. For six minutes, Jay Murphy was Blue Devil.
Jimmy Kelley is the founder and lead writer of Devils in Durham. Follow him on Twitter @DevilsinDurham