By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College basketball program has two players who have signed to further their academic and athletic careers. Jabori Murphy and Jordan Buchanan both have signed to play at Kentucky Christian University for their junior and senior years of college.
Murphy totaled 196 points during his time at Vol State and was a prolific player after Christmas break this season. The Tacoma, Washington native made his decision a few weeks ago after a visit with Buchanan and not long after Murphy felt at home with his new school.
"I am blessed with an opportunity to play at the next level and get a scholarship. When I was at the workout I could tell that the coach wanted me on his team and I feel like playing there next year will open the door for me to show what I can really do on the court," said Murphy.
Buchanan the Bowling Green, Kentucky native played in 45 games total over his time at Vol State and dropped 80 points total. For KCU what these two players have to offer is a shift in how they play, and these determined athletes are primed to change a culture.
"It's exciting and I can't wait to get up there. I have been Jabori's teammate for two years and his roommate for one now so it makes the transition process easier since we already know each other," said Buchanan.
Murphy's best game of the year came against Dyersburg State Community College on Jan. 19 when he dropped 20 points. Interesting as well is that Murphy had six games where he shot 100 percent from the free throw line during the 2018-19 season.
"I'll be working out nonstop in the gym as much as I can which is what I already do. I feel that I am a good defensive presence, I can score, and I will do literally anything to win. KCU is going to get a player who wants to work hard day in and day out," said Murphy.
Buchanan had the best game of his career at Vol State in his final game of the 2017-18 season when the Pioneers played against Jackson State Community College. He dropped 13 points in the final game of his Freshman season and the following season dropped 9 against Roane State Community College for a 91-86 win.
"I'm praying and hoping that we will be in huge roles and I think that both of us have spoken with the head coach about how there's going to be a culture change up at the school. I'm ready to get my feet wet and we'll be leaders not only on the court but off it as well," said Buchanan.
Now donning the red and white the two former Pioneers will head off to their new home Grayson, Kentucky to continue the culture they carry and become the new Knights of KCU.
"One thing I would say to my teammates after this season is to keep grinding it out. Play the cards you are given to the best of your ability and do what you have to do to get to the next level. There will be trials and tribulations that you'll go through but do what you can to be successful," said Murphy on what his final words are to his teammates.
"Winning period. I haven't won much in my life so it will be a huge motivational factor for me as I go in there. The goal at the end of the day is to win and I think with that attitude it will help us a lot more with the team's chemistry," said Buchanan.
Murphy and Buchanan are the first to sign from the Pioneers this offseason and the other sophomores are still in play to sign with other schools. More news and analysis to come from the men's basketball program.