Will Jamal Murray skip classes to play for Team Canada?

Kentucky commit Jamal Murray came off the bench for Team Canada in the Pan-Am Games, and his desire to continue playing for them may affect his status with the Wildcats.

According to Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal, Murray may wind up skipping classes at Kentucky so that he can be with Team Canada during FIBA Americas, the event in which Canada must place first or second in to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

The main issue is that the tournament takes place from August 31st to September 12, not including training camp, and classes at UK begin on August 26th.

Murray’s father attempted to further shed some light on the issue in speaking to Tucker.

“He’s going to Kentucky,” Roger Murray, Jamal’s father, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “That’s not the issue. The issue is just if we want to miss two weeks of school.

“We’re just trying to see how much time he’s going to miss, and if it’s too much, if he should just go to school and not worry about it. From what I’ve gathered, he has to (physically) be in class. So we’re just trying to see how much school he could miss and still play in the tournament.”

This could definitely complicate things, as Wildcats head coach John Calipari a “drop-dead” date as to when he has to be enrolled and participating in classes if he wants to be eligible during the first semester. Speaking to Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, Calipari offered his take.

“We’ll see if there’s any way he can do both, because that’s what I want,” head coach John Calipari told the Sporting News. “The kid absolutely wants to play for the national team, and we want that. But the NCAA has really clear guidelines on this.”

The timing of this could not come at a worse time for Kentucky, as eligibility issues surrounding top recruit and center Skal Labissiere have yet to be resolved and he may not even be cleared to play in the 2015-16 season.

In Murray’s case, it brings back memories of Enes Kanter, the Turkish big man who was set to play at Kentucky but was deemed permanently ineligible due to having played professionally in Turkey for a youth squad for three years.

In Murray’s case, he just needs to realize that he fully committed himself to Kentucky when deciding to play for the program and that Team Canada is going to have to take a back seat until he is a professional. The odds of him even making the Olympic team are slim, as he wasn’t even a starter during the Pan-Am Games, so the fact that he is even considering skipping classes is ridiculous.

Hopefully, between now and August 26th, Murray can get his head screwed on straight and sort out his priorities, as playing for an excellent coach in Calipari can help him become a better player whose value as a professional will only go up.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY High School Sports

Southern Miss investigation costs another coach his job
Southern Miss investigation costs another coach his job