Ironton's Murphy becoming a Battler
IRONTON -- Alicia Murphy is trading in her tiger stripes to become a Battler.
The Ironton High School senior signed Thursday afternoon to play women's basketball at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philipi, W.Va., near Parkersburg.
The NCAA Division II program was the right fit, Murphy said, because of how much it reminded her of her current surroundings.
"I looked at a bunch of schools for academics and basketball, but Alderson-Broaddus, when I went there, it just felt like home to me already," she said. "The coaches were amazing, they were just like coach (Doug) Graham and coach (Cory) McKnight. I really liked playing for them, so I figured I could keep going at the next level with coaches who were just like them with different names."
It also doesn't hurt that Murphy will certainly see playing time at Alderson-Broaddus, perhaps sooner rather than later.
"She will play as a freshman and it won't surprise me if she hasn't cracked the starting lineup toward the end of the season, or maybe as a sophomore," said Graham, the Fighting Tigers head coach.
Murphy can play a small forward or post-up position, and can get low for buckets as easily as hitting a 3-pointer.
"She's a real versatile player who can do many things," Graham said. "Defensively, she can guard anybody, one through five."
Graham added that Murphy is a player who doesn't need a coach to kick-start her intensity.
"Alicia is an extremely hard worker ... she's self-driven," he said. "She knows what's right and wrong, and she achieves the goals she sets for herself because she is so self-motivated."
Murphy said she's already relying on that drive as she gets ready to play at the college level.
"I've already hit the court, I'm already getting ready," Murphy said. "They've given me a training program that I've already started. I just can't wait to get in the gym with the girls."
Graham said the signing was a rewarding experience as a coach.
"It's the best part about coaching, seeing people grow in the game and in the classroom and off the court," he said. "Seeing her being rewarded for all the hard work she's put in is so fulfilling, and I'm excited to watch her over the next four years."