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NWBA Athlete of the Week - Becca Murray

By NWBA, 12/16/15, 1:30PM CST


Weekly Installment featuring men's and women's Team USA players

Becca Murray is a two-time Paralympian having earned gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and fourth at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

She was the overall top scorer (72 points) at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, playing a pivotal role in the overall success of Team USA and hopes to make the 2016 U.S. Paralympic team and bring home another gold medal.

Name: Becca Murray
Classification: 2.5
Height: 5’4”
Date of Birth: March 15, 1990
Place of Birth: Germantown, Wisconsin 
Hometown: Germantown, Wisconsin
Residence: Germantown, Wisconsin
High School: Germantown High School, Germantown, Wisconsin
College: University of Wisconsin- Whitewater ‘14
Major: Special Education

Career Highlights: 
2015 Parapan Am Games, gold medal, Toronto, Canada;  2014 IWBF World Championships, 4th place; 2012 Paralympic Games - fourth place; 2014 Women’s College Division National Champion; 2013 Women’s College Division National Champion; 2012 Women’s College Division National Champion; 2012 Women’s College Division Player of the Year; 2011 Parapan Am Games, gold medal; 2011 U25 World Championship, gold medal; 2011 U25 World Championship, all-tournament team; 2011 Women’s College Division Player of the Year; 2010 IWBF World Championship, gold medal
2010 IWBF World Championship, all tournament team; 2008 Paralympic Games - gold medal
2007 Parapan American Games, gold medal; 2007 Jr. League National Champions; 2005 U20 Australia Games, team member

Competition Wheelchair: Top End Paul Schulte chair

Personal background: Parents are Richard and Linda Murray. She has a sister, Ricki, and a brother, Robert.

Q&A with Becca:
NWBA: Who is your hero?

Becca: My family.  They have supported me through everything I have been through. I couldn’t imagine doing the things I am doing without their support.

NWBA: When did you start playing wheelchair basketball?
Becca: I first started playing when I was 6 years old recreationally.  I went to a practice for an inner squad scrimmage and I eventually started playing with the Milwaukee Wizards when I was 12.

NWBA: Do you play any other sports?  Did you receive any awards from other sports?
Becca: I played street hockey, ice hockey and softball recreationally.  I played tennis in high school for two years.

NWBA: What is your profession?
Becca: I am a clinic assistant with Rogers Memorial Hospital.  I am also training as an in-take specialist.  They have been really accommodating of my wheelchair basketball schedule which is hard to find in a job. I also give speeches to children about overcoming obstacles.  It is an awesome environment.

NWBA: Do you play or have you ever played on an overseas wheelchair basketball team?
Becca: I have not.  I got an offer to play in Italy in my sophomore year in college.  Now that I graduated and found a job, I am not sure going overseas would be for me.  I am a homebody and like to be with family.  

NWBA: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
Becca: Not really, I try not to get too tense.  I go about my day as normally as I can. I try and play the game as I have played it 100 times before.  I know how special the opportunity is and if I think too much about it I will play frazzled and psych myself out.  If I play like it is just another game, I play calmer.

NWBA: Why do you play wheelchair basketball?
Becca: I love the competitiveness of it.  I like being able to experience travelling and being able to experience the different cultures.  I like the team aspect of it - getting to fight through games and celebrate with teammates.

NWBA: What is your favorite basketball moment?
Becca:  Winning the Paralympics in 2008 was an experience all on its own.  It is the most elite level you can participate.  I was 18 years old and learning from all the older players. 

My break out moment was at the World Championships in 2010.  Christina Schwab and I were together on one side on the floor. (The coaches) called it the Wisconsin play since we are both from Wisconsin.  Two opponents ended up double jumping Christina and left me open to roll to the basket for a lay up.  That put us up by two to win the game.  We had 20 seconds left.  We were going back and forth.  It was a key basket to our win and is dear to my heart.

NWBA: Do you follow any sports?  If so, which are your favorite teams?
Becca: The sport I follow most is football.  I am a Green Bay Packers fan.

NWBA: Do you have any pets?
Becca: I have a cat named Jewelz.

NWBA: What are your plans for the holidays?
Becca: I will spend them at home with my family.  They are all within a 15 mile radius so I don’t do much traveling for the holidays.

NWBA: What does it mean to be a Paralympian?:
Becca: It has proven to me that anything is possible if you work hard enough.  Years later it still has its rewards in people looking up to you. When I talk about my experience with children, I see the awe in their faces.  It makes me realize what an impact I can have as a role model on future generations. 

NWBA: What are your long term goals?
Becca: Winning a gold medal at the Paralympics.  Career-wise, I would like to develop as an Adaptation Specialist.

Photo credit: Diana DeRosa/MacMillan Photography