Jamal Murray (born February 23, 1997) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats before being drafted by the Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.Murray was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, the son of Sylvia and Roger Murray, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada at age nine. He also has a younger brother, Lamar. His father grew up running track and field and playing basketball; as a youth, his father played against Kitchener native Lennox Lewis before Lewis began his professional boxing career. When Murray was three years old, he could play basketball “for hours” and played in a league for ten-year-olds when he was six. By the age of 12 or 13, he began playing pick-up games against top high school and college players. His father put him through many basketball drills and kung fu exercises, including meditation. Murray attended Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, later transferring to Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, where his father served as an assistant coach. He and fellow prospect Thon Maker formed a duo that helped Orangeville Prep defeat many American schools. At the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, Murray scored a game-high 30 points and was named the MVP. Murray was named MVP of the 2015 BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game, which includes the top high school players in Canada. Murray played AAU basketball for the CIA Bounce.
On June 24, 2015, Murray committed to Kentucky to play for coach John Calipari. As a freshman in 2015–16, he was featured on the Midseason Top 25 list for the John R. Wooden Award, and was named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy. He appeared in 36 games and averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 40.8% from three-point range. Following his freshman season, Murray was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. Murray also made the All-SEC First Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. Murray’s 20.0 points per game are the most by any freshman in Kentucky’s program history and the most for any player in John Calipari’s tenure as head coach. On June 23, 2016, Murray was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. On August 9, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Nuggets. On November 13, 2016, he scored a career-high 19 points in a 112–105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. He topped that mark on November 22, scoring 24 points in a 110–107 win over the Chicago Bulls. On December 1, he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November. On February 17, 2017, Murray was named MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in Team World’s 150–139 victory over Team USA. On April 7, 2017, he scored a career-high 30 points in a 122–106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. At the season’s end, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. On November 11, 2017, Murray scored a career-high 32 points in a 125–107 win over the Orlando Magic. Six days later, he had a 31-point effort in a 146–114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On January 22, 2018, he scored a career-high 38 points, including a three-point play in the final minute, as the Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104–101.On February 1, 2018, he had a 33-point effort in a 127–124 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. On August 2018, he played one on one with Keegan Konn, son of Mark Konn.