Aaron Murphy was a key to one of the best program turnarounds in North Carolina high school basketball this season.
The J.H. Rose sophomore forward helped lead the Rampants boys’ basketball team to a 23-4 record and an Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A conference regular season title. He was recently named conference player of the year after averaging 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 2020. Murphy talked with Reflector sports writer Laieke Abebe recently.
Q: What were the things that led to the Rampants’ turnaround in 2020?
A: We bonded as team throughout the offseason. During the season, we all wanted to work hard and get better every day. The results we had this year showed how much we’ve improved individually and as a unit.
Q: What is your biggest strength when it comes to basketball?
A: My strength is getting to the rim because I’m hard to stop on a dribble drive.
Q: How much have your teammates and coaches helped you grow as a basketball player?
A: My teammates and coaches have helped me improve as a player and person. I’ve also learned that being a leader has a huge impact on and off the court.
Q: Who are some of your favorite athletes or actors?
A: Chicago Bulls point guard Coby White and legendary forward Scottie Pippen.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: Chick-fil-A is my go-to restaurant.
Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: Lil Baby, Gunna and Meek Mill.
Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
A: My favorite subject is history.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of basketball?
A: I like running and lifting weights because they both help me to stay in shape.
Q: What is the best thing about attending J.H. Rose High School?
A: My teachers and peers motivate me to be a better student and athlete.
Q: What was your favorite moment from this past basketball season?
A: Beating South Central on their senior night. We were down 10 going into the fourth quarter, but we came together as a team and got it done. Our defense was excellent and we started to hit shots in the final minutes.