NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. - As New Hartford senior Sophia Murray gets set for her final season with the Spartans girls basketball team, she can do so without worrying about her plans for the foreseeable future.
The scrappy guard has committed to play at SUNY Brockport for the Golden Eagles.
A four-year varsity starter, Murray was named a Section III second team all-star during her junior season in 2019-20.
Coming into her senior year, she is closing in on 1,000 career points and can chase that goal without the weight of a major life decision getting in the way.
"It's definitely a good relief that I know what I'm doing and motivation for me to just be able to get ready for playing at the college level," said Murray in a Zoom interview with NEWSChannel 2. "Of course, if we have a high school season hopefully it'll be a good one, but it's super exciting knowing what is to come in the future."
As one Murray leaves, another will enter the SUNY Brockport campus. Sophia's brother Ryan (a 2016 graduate of New Hartford) has played for the Golden Eagles football team for the past four years, and is finishing up his undergraduate degree with a double-major in his fifth year this academic year.
Sophia said that she didn't make her choice based on the family connection, but that it did factor in her decision due to the comfort level she developed at the school visiting the last few years.
"I knew some of the girls on the [women's basketball] team through him already," Murray said, "It has my major, what I want to do and I really like the coach and the school so that was a big part too."
Initially, following in her brother's footsteps was not something she considered, but that quickly changed.
"At first, I didn't want to go to Brockport just because I wanted to do my own thing, like I don't want to go where my brother went," she said. "But then just looking at everything aside from my brother, I loved it all, so it would have been dumb for me not to take the opportunity."
In May, Murray had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and missed her summer AAU season for the Syracuse Royals. Her last day of physical therapy ironically was Tuesday, the same day this article is being written.
Things have progressed well throughout the recovery process and Murray expects to be ready to play for the Spartans this winter should the season go on as currently planned.
This decision allows her to enjoy her last hurrah.
"It'll be definitely less stressful," she said. "Now I can just focus on just having fun and being with the girls and everything."
As she gets ready for her final season with the Spartans and girls she's played with for years growing up, she said she does look forward to a new challenge with a new group of girls following this year.
"I know that they're all kind of a family and really close and that's a big thing for me," she said. "Now I can go into college feeling welcome and already have friends when I go there"
Murray will be majoring in education while at Brockport with the hopes of becoming a teacher.