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