Northern California Section team captain Dani Weinstein and Pam Murray
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
Even though Scott Murray of Folsom, Calif., passed away a little more than a year ago, his teammates on his Northern California Section team have not forgotten him and have kept his spirit alive at the USTA League Adult 40 & Over 3.5 National Championships.
It was Aug. 28, 2012, when the 55-year-old Murray was playing in a USTA Mixed Doubles match and suffered a heart attack. He died later that day.
Earlier that year, Murray, whose nickname was “Mur,” played in a USTA spring league on his Adult 18 & Over 3.5 team, which represented the Broadstone Racquet Club in Folsom.
Following a second-place finish after a tough season-ending loss in their last match, he e-mailed his teammates a quote from one of his favorite movies, “A Good Year.”
The quote read: “You'll come to see that a man learns nothing from winning. The act of losing, however, can elicit great wisdom. Not least of which is ... how much more enjoyable it is to win. It's inevitable to lose now and again. The trick is not to make a habit of it.”
“I got to know Scotty as a teammate on other teams in the last several years," said team captain Dani Weinstein. "Last year I had the pleasure of having him on my team. He was always at the club. He was very social and a very nice guy. Even though I didn’t know him a long time, I was devastated.”
Following his passing last year, the Broadstone Racquet Club hosted a memorial that was attended by approximately 500 people, including local dignitaries. At the end of the memorial, there was a ceremonial 21-shot salute where tennis balls were hit onto the court.
The Northern California Section men’s Adult 40 & Over 3.5, which includes many of Murray’s teammates from last year’s Adult 18 & Over team, decided to honor Murray this year and named the team, "The MurMen."
According to Weinstein, the team feels that Murray is still with them in spirit, especially after what transpired this past season. The team lost a league playoff to finish second but advanced to the District Championships as a wild card, when two teams did not have enough players.
In their first match at the District Championships, Weinstein’s team faced their toughest opponent, but two of their doubles teams got stuck in traffic, showed up late and had to default two matches.
“Had they shown up that day, we would not have beaten them. We won, 3-2,” Weinstein said.
Among the large group of friends and family who have accompanied the Northern California men’s team to Indian Wells is Murray’s widow, Pam Murray.
“I’m happy to be here. That’s the way he would have liked it,” she said. “He was telling his friends, unbeknownst to me, a few weeks before he passed, ‘If I ever go, I want to be with the people I love, doing the things that I do.’ Certainly he was blessed with that.”
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