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Tymell Murphy, 31, is a professional basketball player and the author of a new book, Poetry in Motion: Poems and Stories. His family moved from Flatbush to Coney Island's Surfside Gardens in 2003. As a 12-year-old, he found that always having a basketball court nearby was a lifesaver and reminder of what he wanted to do. "I just remember being in a bunch of predicaments, a lot of the times, where like yo, we almost were fighting each other on the court," he recalls. "It was like, I kept that with me and that really gave me kind of an edge to go as far as I did."
After playing basketball in high school and junior college, Murphy went to FIU in Miami and played for the Florida International Panthers in the NCAA. The FIU alum went on to play overseas for professional teams in Egypt, Dubai, Mexico, Japan and China. When the pandemic brought sports to a halt in 2020, Murphy returned to the U.S. and used the pause to devote time to creative writing, a passion of his when he was younger. "I never really had a plan to create a book out of it," he says, "It just all came together at the right time."