Becher remains humble breaking recordsJanuary 23, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — No player in the history of Heritage Hills basketball, boys or girls, has scored more career points than Murray Becher. Ask him about this distinction, and he’ll appreciate having his name atop the record books.
The senior made a 3-pointer on Dec. 21 against Mount Vernon (Posey) that led to a stoppage of play in his home gym. Unbeknownst to him until it was announced, Becher had just broken Tim Denning’s previous boys record of 1,320 points when his triple gave him 1,323 in his career. Denning himself presented Becher a commemorative basketball at the game in honor of breaking his record.
“It was really awesome, getting to beat a really great player like that and even better guy,” Becher said.
He didn’t stop rewriting the record books at that point. With Denning in his rearview mirror, he had Abby Wahl in his purview. Wahl’s 1,450 career points were a Heritage Hills scoring record — until Becher broke that, too, last Friday at Pike Central. And there he stood, atop the mountain as the leading scorer in school history.
“She actually reached out to me on Twitter and congratulated me, and I think that’s awesome just seeing her supporting me like that,” he said.
However, all of this success — with 1,481 career points and counting — is not going to change Becher’s demeanor. He prefers to stay humble as he continues to achieve during his senior year.
“It’s been a fun process, but I couldn’t have done it without my great teammates,” Becher said.
Heritage Hills coach Nate Hawkins believes the humility with which Becher carries himself is one of the keys to being a dynamic scorer for four years. Hawkins noted Becher’s ability to get to the free throw line if he isn’t having a good shooting night, or make a layup off a steal before maybe knocking down some shots.
“If he starts a game 0 for 3, he doesn’t hang his head,” Hawkins said. “He just keeps working.”
Having that hardworking mindset is what Becher credits to being able to take over games as a scorer. He estimates he spends an extra 5 to 10 hours in the gym per week, all to be the best all-around player he can be to help his team win. His father, John, played collegiately at Valparaiso University. The younger Murray has received offers, preferring not to name names, but hopes to follow in his dad’s footsteps. It’s hard for Murray to make a decision, though he sees himself making one at the end of basketball season. The love for the game is ingrained into him, loving the mental side of the sport.
“It’s all a mental game,” he said. “If you can be strong mentally, you’ll succeed.”
Murray began playing basketball when he was in preschool. He remembers thinking how cool it was to come off the bench and onto the court playing varsity as a freshman. People started buzzing about him doing something special at the beginning of his junior year, but he preferred to play hard and not let that get into his mind.
“He’s put in a lot of time,” Hawkins said. “He’s worked really hard all the way from shooting as a little kid down in his barn at his house to coming in the gym at 5 o’clock in the morning during the summertime. Everything that he’s got, he’s earned, and it’s well deserved.”
Becher is on his way to attaining one more record before it’s all said and done. Roger Kaiser set the North Spencer scoring record with 1,549 career points. Kaiser graduated from Dale in 1957, going on to play at Georgia Tech and getting his No. 21 retired by the Yellow Jackets. The Chicago Packers selected Kaiser in the 1961 NBA Draft, though he played professionally instead in the short-lived American Basketball League.
Kaiser still resides in the Peach State, and Hawkins spoke to him on the phone not long ago. He told the former NCAA All-American about his 1,549 points being a North Spencer scoring feat. Kaiser had no idea he had such a record, and Hawkins is impressed the record has stood as long as it has. The fourth-year Pats coach is proud of Murray, and said surpassing Kaiser will be special.
“He called me whenever I talked to him the other day, and said that he really wanted to come down one of these weekends and be able to get the chance to meet him and talk with him,” Hawkins said.
Breaking Kaiser’s North Spencer record could be the latest of all of Murray’s triumphs on the basketball court, but his main focus is helping Heritage Hills win its first sectional championship since 2003. The all-time leading scorer in school history has never won a sectional game, much less a championship. He’ll get one final chance this year to change all of that. Murray believes this year is the year, because the Pats can really guard defensively this year compared to last year.
“I think we need to do it this year,” Murray said. “We have the talent and athleticism, and I think it should happen this year.”
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