Elston Turner Jr. from Roseville High (Calif.) was a wanted man amongst college basketball recruiters. The 6-foot-5 junior guard had seven scholarship offers from various high major programs and the list was growing by the day. Turner wanted to end his recruitment as early as possible so yesterday, he decided to give an early verbal.
Turner informed NorCalPreps.com he had committed to Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies. Other schools recruiting him included Washington State, Arizona State, USC, Georgetown, Tennessee and Marquette, UCLA, Arizona, Texas, California, Kansas, North Carolina, Clemson and Mississippi.
"I called Lorenzo last night and told him I was ready to commit to the Huskies," said Turner. "They will be coming up to see me practice at Roseville on Friday."
Other schools in the running for his services included Arizona State and Tennessee. In fact, coach Bruce Pearl will also be coming into Sacramento on Friday, to pay a visit, but Turner believes his decision is firm.
"Washington has been one of my favorite schools the last 4 to 5 years," continued Turner. "I want to be comfortable where I go next and I was really comfortable with Washington's coaching staff."
Turner decided to make his decision early with the advice from his father Elston Turner Sr.
"I wanted Elston Jr. to get his recruitment done early. The recruiting process can be a hassle. From text messaging to letters. It can be overwhelming," said the elder Turner.
Basketball is something that runs in the Turner family. Elston's mother Louise was a standout player at the University of North Texas in the mid 1980s. His father Elston Sr. was a 6-foot-5 standout guard during his college days at the University of Mississippi. He went on to play in the NBA for eight seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets. He recently served as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings for the past eight years.
When it came to his son's college choice, Elston Sr. said it was his son's decision to make, but he wanted to make sure he made an informed decision. During the process, the two sat down and poured through tons of information about the schools recruiting Turner, including racial diversity, academics, student-teacher ratio and the surrounding community. Then they looked at the basketball program.
"I talked to him about who they have coming back in the program, who they are recruiting, the style of play and the basketball facilities at the school," continued Elston Sr.
One of the Huskies' recent commitments, Justin Holiday, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Campbell Hall in Los Angeles, impressed Elston Jr. The chance to play with him as well as younger brother Jrue Holiday, a 6-foot-3 combo guard from Campbell Hall, who Washington is also recruiting, made Turner's decision that much easier.
"I was Justin's roommate at the adidas Superstar camp," said Turner. "We were on the same team and we got along really well. I don't know his brother that well, but I have played against him. He is the best guard I have faced in the class of 2008."
Ever since he suited up for Roseville High, Turner has been an impact player. A big, strong guard who can play a multitude of positions, he is fundamentally sound with NBA range. Turner has a solid handle and sound basketball IQ, with the ability to make the correct basketball play.
Turner was voted all-state as a freshman and sophomore and he led his team in scoring and rebounding both years. This past spring and summer, he played a key role while leading the Norcal Pharaohs to one of their best tournament campaigns ever.
"Elston Turner has a nice knack for scoring," said Jason Barton, a coach with the Pharaohs. "He has a will to win. He will take the big shot at the end of the game. He is a big-time player who just makes plays."
Turner also had solid showings at the NBA Players Association Camp in Virginia and the adidas Superstar Camp in Atlanta, after which Washington offered him a scholarship. Just last week, Romar was in town watching Turner workout.
"I know I will play 1 and the 2 for Washington," said Turner. "They really don't have positions at Washington. You just do what you can."
Elston said he is working on his game and areas that he needs to improve on as a player. He works out with his dad on a daily basis and he is also working on improving his athleticism by lifting weights.
"I have to get ready for this season," said Turner. "We will be pretty good this year at Roseville High."