Murray twins excited to compete together at college level

Keegan and Kris Murray are following their father’s footsteps, playing college basketball at Iowa.


Nichole Harris

Members of the Iowa men’s basketball team react to the game during a men’s basketball game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday, February 2, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini 72-65.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

When Iowa freshman men’s basketball player Kris Murray walks into the locker room, he sees a tribute to the man he was named after.

Murray is named after former Iowa men’s basketball player Chris Street, who died in an auto accident in 1993. Kris’ father, Kenyon Murray, was one of Street’s teammates at Iowa.

“The first day of practice, I didn’t even know it was up there,” Murray said. “And when I saw that it just kind of took me back and it’s kind of made me realize like, ‘Wow, he had a huge impact here.’ I just want to be someone like who he was.”

Street was a power forward and averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game his junior season. He also held the Iowa record for consecutive made free throws at 34 – a mark senior guard Jordan Bohannon intentionally failed to surpass in 2017-18.

Beyond the stat sheet, Street was known as a natural leader, and that’s why Murray looks to him as a role model.

Murray didn’t arrive at Iowa on his own. His twin brother, Keegan, is also on the team. The twins make up 40 percent of the 2020-21 freshman class.

“We always talked about playing at the same college, but we were never necessarily a package deal just because we’re two different players,” Kris Murray said. “We play different positions, and like we’re comfortable going to different schools but when Iowa gave us the opportunity to come here with each other, I guess too good to pass up honestly.”

Kris is a 6-foot-8, left-handed forward who’s been practicing a bit at the three, but mostly at the four. Kris said he prides himself on defense rather than offense.

Keegan Murray is the same height and is also a forward, but he shoots right-handed.

“[Kris] is usually more of a driver I’d say, and he’d usually kick out to me for three,” Keegan said. “But we both developed our game that we’re multidimensional and that’s a lot of my work with my dad in the offseason. And I think now we’re both very versatile on the court and very much alike.”

The twins are from Cedar Rapids, graduating from Prairie High School in 2019. They spent a post-graduate year at DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kris Murray said he wouldn’t trade his DME Sports Academy experience for the world because he learned a great deal about basketball and playing the game at the college level there.

Both Keegan and Kris want to put the team before themselves this season because Big Ten Conference protocols dictate players sit out for at least 21 days before returning the court following a positive COVID-19 test. So, the brothers realize Iowa’s depth could thin quickly, and that their numbers may be called.

“I feel I’m more for team success,” Keegan said. “Individual success will come from team success. And I think my dad being alumni here is a big thing in our family. I just feel like he supports me and what I do on the court and I don’t really feel any pressure right now.”

Though they haven’t played in any college games yet, the Murray twins have still gotten the college basketball experience facing reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Luka Garza at practice.

“Over the summer, the first scrimmage we played, I was matched against Luka,” Kris said. “I didn’t kind of expect to go against the national player of the year first practice, and it was just kind of eye-opening for me. But he’s taught me a lot, just beat me up a little bit, but it’s invaluable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”