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Myles Turner

Myles Turner Is Ready to Play for the Name on His Chest

  • Author:
    Jimena Panduro
  • Date:
    Jun 19, 2014

University of Texas-bound Myles Turner (Trinity H.S./Bedford, Texas) tends to stick

out from a crowd.


After being only 6-foot-2 as a freshman in high school, Turner grew 10 inches during the

next three years to reach his current height of 7 feet.


Perhaps what makes Turner so special however, is not his dominant, hard-to-miss

presence when he walks into a room, but his genuine kindness and mature demeanor; it’s

easy to forget that he is only 18 years old.

Turner was named as a member of the 2014 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team

that played in the 17th annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 12 at the Moda Center in

Portland, Oregon. The Nike Hoop Summit, the country's premier annual basketball game

for high-school-age boys, features America's top seniors playing against a World Select

Team comprised of elite international players age 19 years old or younger.


He injured his ankle during the game and finished with two points and three rebounds

to help the USA to an 84-73 win over the World Select Team. The USA win ended the

World Team’s two-game winning streak in the annual event and improved the USA’s

record to 12-5 all-time in the game.


That was the very first time that Turner got to wear a USA Basketball uniform, an

experience he values greatly and one that he will remember forever.


“The Nike Hoop summit was a great opportunity for me moving forward,” Turner said.

“It was my first time being involved with USA Basketball, and to be invited back, it is a

real honor and a blessing.


“Anytime I can come out here and represent the country I was born in, it’s exciting and a

crazy opportunity.”


Turner is again joined on the USA U18 National Team by familiar afces. Nike Hoop

Summit teammates and incoming college freshmen Stanley Johnson, who is heading

to Arizona, and Duke-bound Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, are also members of

the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team that will compete at the USA

Basketball-hosted 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the U.S. Olympic Training

Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 20-24.


As one of the four guys from the Class of 2014 heading to play collegiate basketball next

year, Turner is excited to play with these guys again. However, the experience will be

bittersweet, as each guy will take a different path after the tournament is over.


“I’m going to see them going forward in college, but I might not have the opportunity to

team up with them anymore,” Turner admitted.


“This could the last time I will. Playing with them is always fun, they’re great players

that make the right plays at the right time.”


Despite their collegiate careers taking them on separate ways, Turner is focused on the

right now and the ultimate goal to win the gold medal and qualifying the United States

for the 2014 FIBA U19 World Championship.


“I’m most excited about that medal,” Turner said. “That’s been on my bucket list, to win

a gold medal for my country, and to have the opportunity to play for that, it’s huge; it’s a

motivating factor.”


Led by head coach Billy Donovan (University of Florida), the USA U18 National Team

since assembling June 10, has been enduring long practices along with some tough love

in order to improve and get better as a unit in a short amount of time.


“It’s been tough, I mean I wouldn’t even lie about that,” Turner admitted. “The two-

a-days are really tough. Coming out here our bodies are really tired, the coaches have

been asking a lot from us but it’s all for the greater cause. As the process has been going

along, I feel a lot better and I feel the team has gotten a lot better. Since day one he (head

coach Donovan) has been emphasizing moving the ball, not giving up any threes or open

layups, and I feel we have gotten a lot better at all of that.”


With one last session of practice left to go this afternoon, Myles Turner and the USA

team will wrap up all the learning, drills and preparations from these past few days, and

will get ready to open up tournament pool play tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. (MDT) against

Uruguay.


Turner has nothing left to do, but just go out there, and put everything he has absorbed

these last few days into motion.


“Being able to be coached by some of these college coaches, coach Donovan, coach Sean

Miller (University of Arizona) and coach Ed Cooley (Providence College) has been one

of my favorite things throughout this whole experience,” Turner shared.


“They are all major coaches in the game right now and being able to be under their

direction as I am right now, has probably been the best opportunity.”


A reasonable guy with a good head on his shoulders, Turner knows that the journey

to reach your goals might be difficult, but once you get there, the joy will supersede

anything and everything.


“We’re not playing for ourselves, we’re playing for the name across our chest, so it’s all

worth it in the end.”


USA Basketball is hosting the eight-team 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for

Men at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from

June 20-24. The entire tournament, which is free and open to the public, will be streamed

live online at www.fibaamericas.com and www.YouTube.com/FIBAAmericas.

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