Star Basketball Player Coach Shay Murphy is Making WNBA History While Inspiring the “Pretty Tomboy”
Originally from Los Angeles, LA, Eshaya ‘Shay’ Murphy experienced tragedy early on when she lost her father at the age of 12. Channeling grief into grind, Shay asked her mother to sign her up to play basketball and the rest was history. The late, great, Kobe Bryant became her new role model and she dedicated herself to embodying him throughout her career.
She attended USC to study Sociology and Communications and minored in Entertainer Industry. She was drafted by the WNBA in the 2nd round and started playing for the Minnesota Lynx in 2007. After playing with them for a season and a half, she went on to play for various teams in the league including the championship game in 2014, against Phoenix Mercury. In the tail end of her career, she played basketball overseas and won championships for the Euro League and Euro Cup. She has played in places such as; Greece, Spain, Russia, Turkey, France, and Montenegro. She also used her academic degree to build relationships and network while dominating in a game that she loved. After playing in the WNBA for about 10 years, in 2017, Shay stepped away from playing but not from basketball entirely.
Shay then became the first African American woman to coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, as a coaching associate, making WNBA history. She also got the opportunity to work with the Nike Global Footwear Team where she worked as an assistant product line manager. She had the pleasure of working with NBA players and college students to regain their confidence in the game of basketball. During this time, she realized she wasn’t ready to give up the game just yet. Shay decided to go back into the league at the age of 37 and is currently playing with the Euro League in Girona, Spain. She is now able to do the things she loves such as go to the beach, and travel, all while playing her favorite game.
Her ultimate goal is to have unshakable peace in her life and she wants to continue to be a positive example, while regaining focus and financial freedom. She feels as though she never fit into a box and desires to work to enhance multiple brands. Shay wants to inspire others through fitness, skin care, nutrition, and spirituality while we embody her journey from geek to chic as a “pretty tomboy.” She also wants to tap into the realness of every day issues that we’re scared to talk about such as mental health and its importance, while enlightening the Black community.