Jojo Murphy freshman sensation

Jojo Murphy, a 6 ‘2’’ 180 pound guard from Piedmont High School, is Chico State’s first men’s basketball California Collegiate Athletic Association freshman of the year since the 2001-2002 season. 

Having all-conference accolades as a freshman is no easy task, but for the Wildcats, Jojo is the first to do so in over 20 years. Will Bonner was the last to accomplish this feat in the 2001-2002 season. 

Jojo sees this accomplishment as “crazy” and a testament to the coaching staff believing in him as Wildcat coaching staff “usually redshirt freshman.” Thus pushing their first year of playing eligibility back by one to allow freshmen the time to mature into the college game.

Coach Cevin Meador explained how Jojo’s feat is reflective of the team’s atmosphere. 

“He came in ready and he had a great opportunity and took advantage of it, but also like it takes a lot from his teammates,” Meador said.

The older guys, like Joshua Hamilton and Kelvin Wright Jr., really poured their heart into the team and set a good foundation for Murphy and the accomplishments he was able to achieve. 

Murphy brings an extraordinary basketball resume to the table, but his teammates and coaches see him as more than just a list of accomplishments. To them, his impact as a player is evident both on and off the court.

Veteran teammate and CCAA first team honorable mention Joshua Hamilton spoke only positively of Jojo.

“[He] seemed to really enjoy the campus, he had a great personality, great attitude so I was like I’d be happy to have him here,” Hamilton said.

Joshua Hamilton relaxing in the basketball office. Photographed by Wyatt Alpert on March 9.
Joshua Hamilton relaxing in the basketball office. Photographed by Wyatt Alpert on March 9.

 This was the beginning of a special bond Jojo built with the Wildcats, before he eventually signed on a few months later. 

Jojo ended up choosing Chico State because of: “Loyalty. I’d say because like coach Cev[Cevin Meador] would always be calling me or my family or I would be opening a letter in the mail. So seeing how much they wanted me versus like other schools.”

The loyalty Jojo felt drove him to have an amazing freshman campaign that he hopes to continue and expand on for the Men’s basketball program.

Beyond the court, Jojo has a reputation of giving back to his teammates, family and community. One year he even built 12 houses in Mexico.

Jojo was shown just how fortunate he and his peers are while also building connections with people outside his environment. It was “super incredible and life changing for sure” Murphy said.   

Jojo’s biggest “freshman moment” of the year was a gameday where he showed up to the practice facilities 30 minutes late wearing “crocs and sweats” while the entirety of the team was waiting for his arrival fully dressed and ready to go. Hamilton tried to play saving grace and act like he didn’t remember the incident, but Coach Meador definitely doesn’t forget if someone is late and laughed it off saying, “He just didn’t know what time it was.” 

When it comes to spending time off the court Murphy likes to make music. He unfortunately did not give us a sample for this article.

“I don’t know if he’s first team all conference rapper,” Meador said. 

Murphy begs to differ.

 “I definitely am. Don’t listen to them,” he said. 

Jojo also enjoys swimming and getting to be around the beach in the summertime.

In Chico, Jojo’s favorite spot to eat is Pita Pit. He also hopes one day to land a name, image and likeness deal with the restaurant. 

“Pita Pit I’m y’all number one supporter, I’m trying to tell you guys that I can boost your shop but I’m still waiting on that partnership,” Murphy said. 

Hamilton agrees that the partnership needs to happen, and is of the utmost importance.  

“Give him the Jojo sandwich,” he said. 

Murphy loves the Chico State community and family atmosphere around the Chico State Men’s basketball program.

“I appreciate all the fans that came and watched but I would definitely love to see more of you guys next year,” Murphy said. 
And with a bright future and young talent on the roster, the Chico State Men’s basketball fans should be rolling in for the next season of Wildcats basketball.