Evan Turner a 76er! I Promised myself I wouldn’t Cry

Philadelphia 76ers

Evan Turner, Southside Chicago born and bred, the most written about individual in the history of The Sports Bank, and the individual athlete I’ve written about more than any other, became the sixth Ohio State player under the direction of Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, to be selected in the opening round of the annual National Basketball Association Draft in the last four seasons when the Philadelphia 76ers selected Turner with the second pick Thursday.

Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., and Daequan Cook, all freshmen from Ohio State’s 2007 NCAA runner-up squad, were taken in the opening round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Freshmen centers Kosta Koufos (2008) and B.J. Mullens (2009) also were first round selections.

By Paul M. Banks

evan turner
evan turner

Portland, with the first overall pick in 2007, selected Oden. He was the first Buckeye selected with the opening pick. Conley went to the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 4 pick and Cook was selected by Philadelphia with the 21st pick of the opening round. Koufos was taken by the Utah Jazz with the 23rd pick in the first round in 2008 while Mullens went originally to the Dallas Mavericks with the 24th pick in 2009. He was then traded to the Oklahoma Thunder on draft night.

Since 1947, 47 Ohio State basketball players have been drafted by NBA teams, including 22 first round selections.

Turner joins Mullens, Koufos, Oden, Conley, Cook and Michael Redd, now in his 11th year with the Milwaukee Bucks, as former Buckeyes currently active in the NBA. Redd earned a gold medal for the United States on the men’s senior national team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also was elected to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted last fall.

Contributing to an NBA team has long been a goal for Turner.

“Tonight marks another dream coming true,” Turner said. “As a kid growing up, I always dreamt of eventually playing basketball in the NBA and it feels amazing to know that I have finally accomplished that. I am excited to play in Philly and enjoy everything that the city has to offer … especially the cheesesteaks. Right now, I just cannot wait to lace up, get on the court and start playing what I hope will be a long and successful career.”

Turner swept the 2010 college basketball season player of the year awards after claiming the Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, as well as the Sporting News, USBWA, Associated Press and NABC POY awards. The junior guard also was the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player at the annual Big Ten tournament, which the Buckeyes captured with a win over Minnesota.
He was named both the 2010 Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year as well as the Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year following the season. The most recent award was announced Wednesday.

Turner averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2010 as his Buckeye team reached the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. A 6-7 junior from Chicago, he was the conference’s top scorer and rebounder and ranked No. 2 in assists (6.0, 6th in the nation) and steals (1.7).

Matta said Turner deserves this night after the effort and dedication he contributed to the Ohio State program over the last three years.

“I could not be happier for Evan and his family,” Matta said. “He came to Ohio State with a dream and he was able to achieve it through hard work and dedication.  He had the opportunity to enter the draft a year ago but showed maturity by returning to school.  He had not accomplished what he wanted as a Buckeye and he knew he had to become a better player.  He is the model for all young athletes who aspire to play professionally by doing things the right way on and off the court.  I know that he is excited to begin this new journey.”

Ohio State’s NBA First Round Draft History

Year Player Yrs at OSU Team Round (Pick)
1947 Jack Underman 1946-47 St. Louis 1 (7)
Paul Huston 1945-47 Chicago 1 (8)
1950 Dick Schnittker 1948-50 Washington Capitols 1 (5)
1961 Larry Siegfried 1959-61 Boston Celtics 1 (3)
1962 Jerry Lucas 1960-62 Cincinnati Royals 1 (6)
John Havlicek 1960-62 Boston Celtics 1 (9)
1964 Gary Bradds 1962-64 Baltimore Bullets 1 (3)
1968 Bill Hosket 1966-68 New York Knicks 1 (10)
1971 Jim Cleamons 1969-71 Los Angeles 1 (13)
1980 Kelvin Ransey 1977-80 Chicago Bulls 1 (4)
1981 Herb Williams 1978-81 Indiana Pacers 1 (14)
1982 Clark Kellogg 1980-82 Indiana Pacers 1 (8)
1984 Tony Campbell 1981-84 Detroit Pistons 1 (20)
1986 Brad Sellers 1985-86 Chicago Bulls 1 (9)
1987 Dennis Hopson 1984-87 New Jersey Nets 1 (3)
1992 Jim Jackson 1990-92 Atlanta Hawks 1 (4)
2007 Greg Oden
2007 Portland Trailblazers 1 (1)
Mike Conley Jr.
2007 Memphis Grizzlies 1 (4)
Daequan Cook
2007 Philadelphia 76ers 1 (21)
2008 Kosta Koufos
2008 Utah Jazz 1 (23)
2009 B.J. Mullens
2009 Dallas Mavericks 1 (24)
2010 Evan Turner 2008-10 Philadelphia 76ers 1 (2)