Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Breaking Ties

Walled Lake Western's boys basketball program and head coach Raredding Murray have parted ways.
Murray was on the bench heading the Warriors' ship for three seasons, all of which the team exceeded the .500 mark – far from the status quo prior to his arrival.
When he took over the team in 2011, it was at rock-bottom, a basement dweller for over a decade.
He made Western relevant on the hardwood again (beating defending Class B state champ Detroit Country Day and snapping Grand Blanc's longstanding KLAA win-streak this winter) and as one local coach said of his departure has left whoever takes his place at the helm of WARRIORS HOOPNATION "a gold mine." Another area coach said, "When he got there nobody wanted to touch that place, now there's a line around the corner looking to take his spot."
That aforementioned gold mine revolves around the KLAA "Big 3" of point guard Jerald Booker, shooting guard John Flowers and power forward Marcus Bailey, all set to be seniors and three-year varsity starters in the 2015 campaign and all honed and developed by Murray. Booker and Bailey make up one of the most imposing inside-outside tandems in Oakland County, both multi-year all-league selections. Flowers could be on the verge of a monster breakout season next winter, after showing flashes of brilliance in each of the past two years.
Before arriving on the Western sidelines, Murray was a staple in the city's and the Detroit PSL prep hooping scene. Playing at Detroit Mumford in the late 1980s, his coaching career really got off the ground & running starting as an assistant under current EMU head coach Rob Murphy at Detroit Crockett, eventually winning a Class B state title with a squad captained by future MSU Spartan and NBA player Maurice Ager. Taking over on the bench for Murphy at Crockett – when Murphy left for a college assistant's job under Jim Boheim at Syracuse –, Murray led the Crockett program back to the final four at the Breslin Center in East Lansing in 2004.


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