This past weekend I traveled to the beautiful desert city of La Quinta, CA, to attend the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Scholarship Reception. I was one of seven college students across the nation honored with this award for college journalism, which was one of the biggest highlights of my life thus far.
This award also had a great deal of personal significance. I have grown up reading Jim Murray and he is one of my idols. When my dad was a college senior -- just one year older than I am now! -- he wrote Jim Murray a letter asking for advice about being a sportswriter. Jim wrote back, a thoughtful, page-long, handwritten letter. One of the things he wrote in that letter I now have taped above my writing desk:
"If you are meant to be a writer, you will be. Nothing can stop a writer from writing. Not even Hitler could do that."
Jim Murray also inspired me with his kindness towards others and the way he captured humanity in all of his writings. As Rick Reilly wrote: "Jim could have written about anything -- sports just got lucky."
I feel so lucky to now be a part of the Murray Scholar Family! I also have tremendous gratitude to Linda McCoy-Murray, Jim's widow, who is one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever met. She is so energetic, passionate, and kind -- along with keeping Jim Murray's legacy alive, she has raised nearly half a million dollars for these college scholarships. She is a human dynamo with a heart bigger than Kobe Bryant's ego!
Top: Here is a picture of me with Jim Murray's legendary typewriter. (You have to press down on the keys very forcefully -- so different from touch-typing on computers these days!)
Middle: Here I am with Luc Robitaille, former LA Kings player who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is such a genuinely nice person!
Bottom: With my idol Linda McCoy-Murray.