STUDENT-Athlete of the Week: Murphy Troy

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Every week, we'll shift the student-athlete emphasis to the left side of the hyphen and I'll have a conversation with a Trojan scholar athlete.

Name: Murphy Troy
Sport: Men's Volleyball

Class: Senior

Major: Physics

GPA: 3.3

Jordan Moore (JM): Growing up in St. Louis, did your parents always instill an academics first mentality or is it something you've gained over time?

Murphy Troy (MT): My parents always instilled the importance of education. They both have a background in teaching, so they would have never let me slack in the classroom.

JM: Now you're a smart jock, were you a nerd or a jock growing up?

MT: I'd have to say more of a nerd. My brother was more of a jock and always picked on me. But luckily I had enough height and athleticism so that the cool kids would still hang out with me.

JM: How much of a factor was academics in choosing USC?

MT: It was a very big factor. I knew that I needed to go to a school with challenging academics, but I also wanted a volleyball program that could compete for a national title. So right off the bat I had a relatively small list to work with when choosing schools.

JM: I bet the LA sun and sand didn't hurt either.

MT: Its not too bad. Coming from the Midwest with virtually zero experience playing on the beach, it's been fun taking on the challenge. I spent this past summer in LA, and for the first time I started to feel comfortable in the sand. People don't realize how different of a game it is, and it's a fun way to cross-train where you can simultaneously work on skills that transfer to indoor.

JM: What drew you to physics?

MT: I've always been sort of a math-friendly student. Then I took an AP Physics course my junior year in high school and loved it. I loved being able to see the way things happen in the world, and then have the understanding of why they behaved in such a way. I always like knowing how things work, and what causes strange events to happen.

JM: Have you ever used it or any of the properties on a volleyball court?

MT: Not extensively. I try to improve my arm swing to allow for maximum torque, but I haven't come up with anything that other volleyball players haven't. I guess I'll keep studying.

JM: New AD Pat Haden wants the student-athletes to have a robust college experience.  You are a member of the Trojan Athletics Senate.  What improvements would you like to make to the student-athlete experience?

MT: One thing I would like to see change is to have more athletes showing up to watch and support each other. Over the past year, I attended more sporting events than I did in my first two, and I love watching other SC athletes compete. So hopefully we can encourage others to buy into that because I think it will be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

JM: You also showed some serious acting chops in your Tommy Awards video.Side Out.jpg  Are you ready to go Hollywood?  Maybe starring in a remake of Side Out.

MT: Now, I was merely a sidekick to Andrew Pizula in the video. I'm pretty sure he's the one that got all the laughs. That being said, I did get an A in my Intro to Acting course last semester. So there's still hope.

JM: Plus, you have a life-sized poster of yourself in the Galen Center.  Have you gotten used to admiring yourself in the hallway?

MT: It was a little weird at first. And they placed it so that fans see it right when they walk in, which I don't think was the smartest idea. We don't want to scare people away. At least put it somewhere where people won't see it until after they've paid admission.

JM: Finish strong, tell me something you've learned in your advanced physics studies that would blow my mind.

MT: Sometimes it's the simple things that are most amazing. If you are holding two ends of a string in your hands, and you pull both ends in opposite directions so that the string is taut and parallel with the ground, no matter how hard you pull, the string will never be completely straight. Is your mind blown?

JM: Wow.  I don't even know what to say.

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