Help us to help them.
Help young women overcome a past of tragedy and access a future full of possibility.

Return to Home

What's New

James Murphy Coaches Excelsior Basketball Team Towards a Winning Season!

Photo of Excelsior's Basketball Team in action

By Jim Uhernik, Director of Business Development and Admissions

James Murphy is an instructor in Excelsior's school and has been the coach of Excelsior's basketball team for 3 years. He has a background in mental health and education.

Its game day and Excelsior's basketball team is getting ready to go off campus to an away game. Coach James Murphy and staff are gathering girls together for a quick talk. Lined up in the gym, girls wear their blue and gold basketball uniforms with pride as they listen attentively to Coach Murphy's instructions. The girls are smiling and there is a sense of camaraderie as this team has worked very hard to earn a record of 9 wins and 5 losses with 5 games left in the season until the playoffs.

Now we know that a typical successful high school basketball team is made up of players who have known each other and played together for many years. In contrast, Excelsior's basketball team has no returning players and many have never even played on a high school team.

I recently sat down with Coach Murphy and asked him about his team and their success.
Mr. Murphy remarked that he was very proud of his team's hard work and that these experiences had really been healthy for our girls. As he stated, basketball is a good outlet for girls, they get to go off campus and play other schools and "it makes it real for them." Coach Murphy said that girls on the basketball team have been maintaining passing grades in school and have consistently demonstrated positive behavior. He believes that participating in the basketball team has helped to promote discipline. Girls have been able to work together and have come to count on each other. Often coaches from other schools have commented to Coach Murphy that our girls demonstrate good sportsmanship.

As far as individual performance, several girls have stood out among other high school basketball players statewide. Coach Murphy stated that 3 girls have made the high school All Star Team and 1 player has been ranked #2 in the state for scoring. One girl has even received calls from two colleges in California interested in recruiting her.

Coach Murphy expressed that he enjoys working with the girls and that he sees the change it (basketball) makes...In his words: "Its rewarding for me."