ROCKVILLE – The final box score told the story.
Collin Turner, Montgomery College’s sensational sophomore guard, finished with a game-high 34 points on Saturday to lead the Raptors to a 113-81 victory over Pennsylvania’s Butler County Community College.
Turner, who logged 32 minutes against BCCC, shot 65 percent from the field including five three-pointers and converted all three of his foul shots.
Although he battled respiratory problems the entire game, Turner was still productive against BCCC. Turner’s three-pointer late in the game put the Raptors ahead, 101-64.
“Even though I’m sick I try to take care of my body,” said Turner, who noted that he takes vitamins and medication to stay healthy.
There’s no question that the 6-foot phenom has been an absolute godsend for Keith Byrd and his coaching staff. He registered a career-high 47 points in a November victory over Cecil College.
He’s twice been named the Maryland JUCO student-athlete of the month for both November and December and has also garnered weekly honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The Poolesville High School graduate said he began playing organized basketball around four or five years old, participating in both the I-270 and Montgomery County Recreation youth leagues.
Turner played AAU basketball for Germantown Hardknocks, competing alongside former Magruder standout Joe Hugley and former Good Counsel football standout Keandre Jones.
Hugley, now a sophomore forward at Central Connecticut State University, was named The Sentinel’s Co-Player of the Year during his senior campaign at Magruder and Jones, an Ohio State sophomore linebacker, was twice named The Sentinel’s Defensive Player of the Year during his tenure at Good Counsel.
Lloyd Hall, Turner’s head coach at Germantown Hardknocks, recalled a talented kid with loads of potential.
“He was one of those kids that always had that ‘it’ factor,” said Hall. “I had confidence in him and he had confidence in himself.”
Turner developed his game playing AAU basketball with Germantown Hardknocks but his problems in the classroom prevented him from competing at Poolesville until his senior campaign.
“He came with a weak left hand,” recalled Hall, “and left being able to go both ways.”
Hall, who maintained a good relationship with Turner’s mother and grandmother, also served as a father figure and mentor for the teenager.
“His mother didn’t mind me getting on him,” said Hall, who noted that various Division II and Division III colleges began to express interest.
After a year of seasoning at Montgomery College, Turner has emerged into one of the top players in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.
“This year has been awesome,” said Turner. “I fell off last year due to grades. I told myself this year I wasn’t going to fall off, I was going to come back 10 times harder.”
Turner’s exploits on the hardwood haven’t gone unnoticed, Division I college scouts have expressed an interest in his talents.
“I got something to prove,” he said. “My main thing was getting college paid for, being able to go to school for free and get my education and play the game I love.”