The King’s Academy boys basketball team ran their record to 11-1 recently with a defeat of SLAM Academy of Boca Raton. The win was coach Murray Smith’s 28th in his first 39 games as the head coach at TKA, marking a fast turn-around for the Lions in only a season and a half.
However, the win was far more significant for the history of high school basketball in Palm Beach County. It may have only been Smith’s 28th win at TKA, but it was his 700th win as a varsity basketball coach in Palm Beach County.
“It’s a humbling thing to think about all of the games and all of the players over the years. As much I want to impact my players, I think that over the years they have had a bigger impact on me,” Smith said.
A Palm Beach Atlantic University alum, Smith has won an average of 22 games per year during his 32 years coaching high school basketball in Palm Beach County. During that span, he has coached for Lake Worth Christian School, Cardinal Newman High School, Summit Christian (now Atlantic Christian Academy), Lake Worth High School and now TKA. Smith’s teams have won dozens of district championships and participated in seven state championships, winning three of them — two at Cardinal Newman and one at Summit Christian.
“The thing that I admire about Murray is how his alumni speak about him. I try to meet and speak to his alums often, so that they feel welcome at King’s and continue to feel part of their coach’s legacy,” Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hobbs said. “When I speak to them, I find a lot of grown men who adore their high school basketball coach. That is what high school sports is all about; impacting young people beyond their playing careers.”
The 700th win was recognized in a small ceremony at mid-court in front of a small crowd due to pandemic limitations. What is not small is 700 career wins and Smith’s continued impact on high school basketball in Palm Beach County.