Women's Basketball
    Shay's Summer Of Sweat: Trojan Hoops Star Weighs In On Her Busy Summer
    Shay Murphy was on a mission to improve herself and her game this summer.
    Shay Murphy was on a mission to improve herself and her game this summer.

    Sept. 7, 2005

    Hey Trojan Fans! It's your girl Shay Murphy # 14. I hope all of you had a wonderful summer such as I did. I'm writing to tell you a little about my summer and update you on how the 2005-06 preseason looks for the Women of Troy. Well, to start the summer off right I enrolled into the first session of summer school at USC and took a class called Comm 395 that focuses on media and entertainment. This class is a requirement for my entertainment minor and worth four units. After six weeks of studying, homework and hard exams I finished the class with an 82.3%, which is pretty good in my opinion.

    The next step of my summer was starting voluntary workouts with our strength coach Leslie Cordova and members of the football team. In the beginning of workouts we were only going three times a week, which was still pretty challenging. But as the summer progressed we continued to increase the amount of weights we would lift and the amount of footwork and agilities we would complete. Man, I'll tell you guys one thing, having workouts everyday at 7 o'clock in the morning during the summer was very difficult for me to stay motivated. But seeing Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, Lawrence Jackson, Ryan & Brandon Ting also busting their tails and pushing each other day in and day out in order to be better allowed me to stay focused on my main goal, which is to become the best basketball player that I can possibly be.

    While workouts were going on five times a week, I also was playing in the LA Summer Showcase college basketball league, which was held in the northern gym at -- of course -- USC. The games were every Saturday and Sunday against other college players and teams. My team was called the LA Spirit and consisted of the talented Noelle Quinn, Emma Tautolo and Tierra Henderson from UCLA, Amber Pruitt from Fullerton, Ashlee Dunlap, Jennifer Hall and Cassady Moore from LMU, Crystal McCutcheon from Long Beach State, and many other awesome players. In other words, I was at USC seven days a week during the summer -- "Sweet!" My summer team lost in the championship to my current teammate Jamie Funn's team that consisted of former USC players.

    Summer workouts ended at USC because our football team was sent to camp and Summer Showcase league came to an end, which forced me to join 24 Hour Fitness in order to stay in shape and ready for the upcoming season. So I joined 24 Hour Fitness and continued lift weights, and I began to play open gym three times a week down at LMU with other college players that were around. By working out, I lost around 15-18 pounds, and although I was working out and staying in shape doing the things that were my strengths, I also focused on a few of my weaknesses by improving my jump shot, raising my shooting pocket, and working on going strong with my left hand and ball handling. In order to improve on those things, I would play at the park and compete against men, so I would get more comfortable and stronger at these specific areas of my game. I would also at times go to local gyms in the San Fernando Valley (a.k.a. "818") with my friend Allen Finkelstein and we would constantly shoot hundreds of shots and rebound for each other while challenging each other's shots by playing defense and forcing each other to our weaknesses.

    Well, although I only wrote about basketball, school and workouts I did have a life outside of basketball that I am unable to inform you about because I don't have that much time and I'm sure that the FCC won't let me (hahahahahaha!). Overall, I had a great summer and I hope that my hard work and dedication pays off this year on and off the court. Just so you guys are aware, I am not the only player on the team who worked on their game this summer and came in shape. Many of our girls have stepped their game up to the next level because we are all preparing to defend and replicate another fairytale season, since we are no longer the underdogs in people's eyes. The Women of Troy are training and preparing for this season and I am certain that we have the drive and work ethic to be successful as a team because we are eager to go further in the NCAA Tournament.

    Okie dokie Trojan Family, I hope I didn't bore you by discussing what a real Trojan summer is like. I can't thank you guys enough for your support and encouraging our program. I'm so excited for this upcoming season and I'm looking forward to seeing you guys in cardinal and gold, loud and proud for the last season in the Sports Arena.

    P.S. If you don't want to miss the Women of Troy in action, secure your seats in the new Galen Center for the 2006-07 basketball season.

    Sincerely yours,
    Eshaya (Shay-Bird) Murphy #14
    Fight On!