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Life Lessons From EMU Basketball Coach Rob Murphy's Book About The Challenges He Faced Growing Up

Oct 16, 2019

Eastern Michigan University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rob Murphy.
Credit Lisa Barry

Eastern Michigan University head basketball coach Rob Murphy's mother was 16 years old when she gave birth to him and was later murdered. He said that changed his life forever and instantly put him in the position of leadership taking care of his two younger brothers.

Now, he has written a book about growing up in Detroit and the many challenges he faced.  It's called "Deep: The Life Of Rob Murphy."

With no father figure in his life either, Murphy was guided and mentored by several coaches as he played football and basketball growing up.  He was offered a football scholarship at EMU but ultimately could not take it but adds now here he is coaching the university's basketball team.

He said his high school coach gave him vision and direction adding "a lot of us can't see past our environment or the situation that we are in as kids and even sometimes as adults."

Murphy says his bottom-line message is “Every child deserves opportunity, but when you get that opportunity, you need to be prepared to make the best of that opportunity.”

He says your circumstances and your environment does not have to dictate where you end up in life.

Murphy says, where he's from, there's a 5 percent chance to end up where he is today.  A lot of other children are growing up today with a lot of the same challenges he grew up with, and if he can give them vision and direction and motivate to do them the right thing and put them in the right position to get the opportunity, they have to make the best of it, but that is what he would like to continue to do.

Bottom line, Murphy says, "You never know in life where you will end up... so enjoy the moment where you are right now believing it is exactly where you are supposed to be."

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu