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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Calvin Murphy

     (Born May 9, 1948) -- Calvin Murphy used to pack in the crowds when he was a junior high basketball player while growing up in Connecticut. It was no surprise, then, that he kept doing that throughout his career.

     Murphy was an All-American in high school; he was so good that the high school is 23 Calvin Murphy Road. From there it was on to Niagara University. That may surprise people who don't remember the 1960's, when the top colleges didn't gobble up every major prospect.

     It didn't take long for the 5-foot-9 guard to become the greatest player in Niagara history. He came along at the same time as LSU's Pete Maravich, and they brought individual scoring to unprecedented levels. Murphy averaged 33.1 points per game for the Purple Eagles.

     Along the way, Murphy gained fame for another hobby -- baton twirling. He had won a national championship at it at eighth grade, and carried his baton to Western New York. He twirled during Bills' game at War Memorial Stadium.

     Murphy finished at Niagara in 1970, and the Buffalo Braves passed him up in the first round of the draft in favor of John Hummer. That one didn't work out. He averaged 18 points per game during a very good NBA career.

     Murphy did some television work for the Houston Rockets after retirement. He was picked for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

--- Budd Bailey

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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