Inside Keegan Murray’s life ahead of Iowa star’s big day

Keegan Murray is a day away from knowing where he will play in the NBA.

Months of anticipation are now hours from reality.

The 2022 NBA Draft is taking place Thursday (7 p.m. on ESPN) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Murray is sure to be a lottery pick. Things are about to change fundamentally for the Cedar Rapids native.

According to USA Today’s latest mock draft, Murray is projected No. 5 overall to the Detroit Pistons. According to sports betting platform BetOnline, his current betting odds on a draft pick are over/under 5.5. Iowa’s all-time highest draft pick is Fred Brown, who was selected #6 overall in 1971.

He is one of the selected prospects to enter the 2022 NBA Draft live. A total of 11 people traveled to New York City to accompany Keegan. His drafting table will consist of himself, his parents Kenyon and Michelle Murray, twin brother Kris, younger sister McKenna and two representatives from Priority Sports & Entertainment: super agent Mark Bartelstein and colleague Kyle McAlarney.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be really cool,” Keegan Murray told the Des Moines Register last week. “I will have all my family with me, so it will be a special event for them too. But I have a feeling just sitting there and hearing my name called shaking (NBA Commissioner Adam Silver)’s hand is probably going to be a surreal experience. I’m only going to think about it a lot after the fact, but I think I think it would be really special.

What is life like for the potential top five pick in the moments leading up to his big day? His father spoke to Hawk Central to provide this insight into Murray’s pre-draft world.

A glimpse into Keegan Murray’s busy schedule ahead of the NBA Draft

Keegan Murray arrived in New York on Tuesday after spending the last weekend in Cedar Rapids.

On Tuesday night, he attended a social event hosted by popular trading card company Panini with other top prospects. The top draft picks have annual endorsement deals for novices with Panini (endorsement value varies based on where each player is selected). Tuesday night marked the first of several commitments Murray will need to make during his rookie year to honor his commitment, including public appearances, social media posts, autographs and more.

After the Panini event, Keegan returned to his hotel to work out and lift weights.

“He was like, ‘Okay, take me back. I have to go to the weight room,'” his father recalled.

Wednesday is another packed day.

Murray and his Green Room colleagues completed an NBA-sanctioned media training session in the afternoon.

Later on Wednesday, Priority Sports plans to host the entire Murray family for dinner on Wednesday night. To wrap up the day, Keegan will attend a meet and greet hosted by SLAM Magazine and the Wilson Sporting Goods Company.

On Thursday morning, prospects will have a meeting with NBA staff about draft night logistics, then the Murray family will have lunch with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

From there, everyone present with the Murrays will get dressed — the NBA will provide hair and makeup for women and haircuts for men — before heading to Barclay’s Center in the afternoon.

NBA draft rumors intensify

On Wednesday, NBA mock drafts projected Murray to the 5th pick of the Detroit Pistons and 9th pick of the San Antonio Spurs. In addition, there is the possibility for trades. Fourth overall, the Sacramento Kings are one of the top-selling picks, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kenyon Murray described Keegan’s agents’ draft updates as “daily, if not hourly.” Kenyon says they outlined up to nine different scenarios for Keegan earlier this week.

Wherever he lands, Keegan’s demeanor hasn’t changed: he expects to contribute for whoever picks him on Thursday night.

But the uncertainty makes for an exciting evening.

“A lot will happen on draft night,” Kenyon said. “We may not honestly know where he ends up going until after the first round, because of all the trade things that can happen. But[Keegan]just listens and processes it and he just says, ‘Well, whatever I’m in. Count me in. I’m just ready to play.'”

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men’s basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect to Kennington Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at ksmith@gannett.com.

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