By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
MEMPHIS – Former Ole Miss basketball standout Murphy Holloway may not put the NFL completely behind him, but he’s back to his first love, for now.
Holloway, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound Ole Miss forward, was one of six NBA Draft prospects working out for the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday at the FedExForum.
This workout came about a month after Holloway was invited to Baltimore Ravens minicamp as an NFL free agent.
“Way different, less contact. Still some contact, but not as much,” Holloway said.
Holloway, who has also worked out for the New York Knicks, tweeted Monday afternoon that he had been invited back to Memphis for a second workout.
His basketball career seemingly forging ahead, football is still there too. After three days of Ravens minicamp, he said he was told he would be a practice player, was released, but told he was welcome to attend Ravens’ training camp in July if basketball didn’t work out.
“He’s got a pretty bright future whichever sport he chooses to play,” Memphis director of player personnel Stu Lash said.
Football remains a possibility, but it also got him off to a late start on preparing for an NBA career. He says he’ll bring the toughness that built his name as a scorer (14.5 ppg.) and rebounder (9.7) at Ole Miss to the NBA.
His collegiate numbers match physical Memphis’ pound-it-in style with double-double bigs Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, both bigger than Holloway.
Size is a concern some scouts have that Holloway isn’t concerned with. Randolph, a power forward, is two inches taller. Gasol, a center, five inches.
Holloway said he believes he can play at either forward position in the league, and would love for that to be in Memphis.
“In a perfect world, it would be great, the fans, it’s close to Ole Miss,” Holloway said. “I’m a competitor. Height, size, weight, it doesn’t matter to me. (I would be a) great role player, great rebounder, great defender.”
Holloway’s football abilities surfaced as a senior. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze could have used the info a year ahead.
“Coach Freeze tried to find a way for me to stay in school and play football this year,” Holloway said, then smiled. “But I’m outta there. I graduated.”