A ferocious rebounder and consistent scorer, this Ohio standout's all-around game enables her to play any position.
Barbara Turner of East Tech Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the country's most versatile players. The 6-1 senior is most frequently found at small forward, but her size, defensive skills, and athleticism enable her to play every position on the court.
Joe Smith of Women's Basketball News Service called Turner one of the best athletes in her class and the best player in Ohio. "She runs the floor extremely well and has excellent skills," Smith says. "She has good range and has a solid handle. In many ways Turner is the prototype three player. In addition, she plays good defense and makes her presence felt on the court at all times."
East Tech Head Coach William Stovall has said that "Barbara's biggest strength is her rebounding and her ability to make second chance shots. But, she also has very good ball-handling skills and quickness, and she sees the floor really well."
Last season, Turner lead East Central to the Division I girls' state semifinals, where the Scarabs fell to Beavercreek after she fouled out. Still, it was a successful junior season for Turner, who averaged 23 points, 19 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 5.2 steals, and 6.1 blocks per game. She earned several year-end honors, including Ohio Co-Player-of-the-Year (with Michele Munoz, now at Tennessee), and All-State First Team.
Earlier this year, Turner told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that she'd consider jumping directly to the WNBA if the league permitted it (right now, it doesn't sign players until their collegiate eligibility is over). "If playing in the WNBA was like NBA money, I'd strongly consider about going right out of high school," Turner said.
Still, Turner realizes that she has a lot of work to do on her game before she's ready for the pro ranks. "I have the size to play in the WNBA out of high school, but I still have some tinkering to do on my game," Turner said. "Offensively, I could probably play in the WNBA, but my defense would hold me back. If I was in the pros, how could I check someone like Chamique Holdsclaw? I may get 20 points, but she'd score about 50 on me. I wouldn't be helping my team."
Right now, Turner, who's also an outstanding volleyball player, is weighing her collegiate choice, with Rutgers and Connecticut reported to be the front-runners (she also made visits to North Carolina, Temple, and Southern California). "I just want to take my time and weigh everything out," she told the Women's Basketball Journal. "Right now I'm considering all five schools. I'm going to sit down and list all the pros and cons.
"The most important thing is to find a place where I will be comfortable, and to find the coach that I want to play for the most."
Article written by Gball Associate Editor Jim Catalano.
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