Jamal Murray doesn’t get to come home often. Not back to Canada, and even less often back to the Kitchener-Waterloo region in Ontario where he was raised.

This off-season has been a busy one for the 20-year-old Murray. He’s travelled the globe partly for fun and partly due to sponsorship obligations all while trying to work on his game and get his body healthy. But earlier this week he put some time aside to put on a clinic of on-court drills for aspiring young Canadian basketball players at Conestoga College in conjunction with the BMO NBA Courts Across Canada program.

Murray played his high-school ball locally at Grand River Collegiate Institute before playing at the Athlete Institute in Orangeville en route to his one-and-done season at the University of Kentucky. He’s hoping more young Canadians can stay at home in Canada and play and still chase their NBA dreams, which is why he’s helping the NBA’s initiative to refurbish courts across Canada.

After putting up 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in his rookie season there has been speculation this summer Murray could start for the Nuggets at point guard over Emmanuel Mudiay or even be traded for Kyrie Irving.

I talked to the guard going into his second season about adapting to the NBA, eating healthy, the trade rumours he’s been mentioned in, and the international growth of the game.

SN: What are you looking forward to this upcoming season?

Murray: I’m excited to be healthy. I think that’s the biggest thing. Last year wasn’t the best in terms of my health. This year it’s going to be a lot of fun just to be able to move and do what I do like I used to without any pain.

SN: What was bothering you the most?

Murray: I had surgery on my core muscles. They were ripping apart. I got that fixed so now I can get out of bed properly and sit up and all that. It definitely limited what I could do throughout the season but now I’m good. I’m definitely happy I’ve had the summer to rest and take care of that.