Calvin Murphy is the greatest player in the history of Niagara University. Standing at only 5′ 9″, Calvin Murphy played for the Purple Eagles from 1967 to 1970 and is considered one of the 50 greatest players to have played in the NBA. Calvin Murphy is also a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Calvin Murphy was born in Norwich Conneticut and and first attended Niagara University in 1966. As a freshman Calvin Murphy averaged an incredible 48.9 points a game. Murphy’s performance was so exciting that fans came hours early to watch him play prior to the Varsity contest.
Calvin Murphy then went on to score 2,548 points in 77 games for Niagara which is a 33.1 points per game average. That mark still stands as the career record at NU and was highlighted by a 68 point performance against Syracuse University at the Gallagher Center on the Niagara campus.
While Calvin Murphy’s first two seasons had plenty of highlights the team had back to back .500 seasons. However as a senior Murphy led the Purple Eagles to a 20 win season and Niagara’s first NCAA berth.
In that 1970 NCAA tournament Calvin Murphy scored a game high 35 points and led Niagara to a 79-69 win over Pennsylvania. In the Eastern Regionals Niagara then had their tournament come to an end with their second loss that season to the Villanova Wildcats. Niagara finished that season ranked 18th in the countryt
Calvin Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets (now the Houston Rockets) as the first pick in the second round (18th overall) of the 1970 NBA Draft. In his first season, Calvin Murphy was nominated to the NBA All-Rookie team.
Calvin Murphy was also one of the best free-throw shooters ever, setting NBA records for most consecutive free throws made and for the highest free throw percentage in a season in 1980-1981. Both records have since been broken. Calvin Murphy set many records within the Rockets organization, including that of all-time leading scorer until that record was broken in 1994 by Hakeem Olajuwon. The Rockets made it to the NBA Finals in 1981, losing to the Boston Celtics in six games. After retiring from the NBA in 1983, Calvin Murphy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.