Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK –Josiah Turner came to Queens from North Carolina with two of his Quality Education teammates.
He left as the MVP of the iS8/Nike Spring Championship final and with a trophy as tall as he is.
“It feels good,” the 6-foot-3 Turner said after posting 16 points and 7 assists to lead the Sean Bell All-Stars to a 71-60 victory over a Real Scout outfit with three St. John’s signees.
“It lets me know that I can play with a lot of people. I’m a pretty good point guard. I can run the show so I like it.”
Turner paired up with Quality Education teammates Sir’Dominic Pointer (12 points, 10 rebounds), who had an impressive dunk on future St. John’s teammate JaKarr Sampson, and Dwight Meikle, a onetime St. John’s signee who was the victim of a vicious Sampson dunk.
Sampson, a long, athletic wing player, said he was impressed with how Turner ran his team in the final.
“I like him, I liked him a lot,” Sampson said. “He was at all the Nike camps, the LeBron camp. He’s a good player.”
A Sacramento, Calif., native, Turner signed with Arizona over Kansas, UCLA, Oregon and Louisville and initially planned to share point guard duties with Lamont “Momo” Jones.
“I think I would’ve played pretty good [with him],” Turner said. “Both of us are pretty good guards. He’s a scoring guard and I’m a passing guard so I think we went well.”
But Jones, a Harlem native, announced last week he would transfer closer to home. He is considering St. John’s, Seton Hall and UConn, among others.
“I was surprised,” Turner said. “I was wondering why he did it, I was surprised.”
Arizona head coach Sean Miller likely would’ve used Turner more as a lead guard even with Jones in the house, but now Turner will have an even greater opportunity to run the show.
“He said my role would be to come in and play hard,” Turner said. “I’m going to have a big role on the team so he just said play hard.”
Turner will also pair with incoming combo guard Nick Johnson of Findlay Prep, his teammate on the Oakland Soldiers.
“It’s gonna be us two,” Turner said. “We know each other. We play on the same AAU team. I knew him previously before that. We’re gonna get along good.”
In addition to losing Jones, Arizona will be without star forward Derrick Williams, who will likely be the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft behind Kyrie Irving.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Turner said. “Sidiki [Johnson]’s coming in. He’s a big man. He’s a beast, so I think we’ll still be pretty good.”
**Arizona-bound Johnsons getting an early start
**Harvard-bound Hooper lights it up at iS8
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.