Myles Turner is the most wanted man at the McDonald’s All American Games.
But what Turner wants most is to enjoy the ride.
Fans, the media and NBA scouts have flocked around the 7-footer from Euless Trinity throughout the event. Even his fellow All-Americans are getting in on the action. They don’t want to just share the court with Turner this week. They want to wear the same uniform in college.
“The guys will say ‘Hey, if I make this shot, you’re going to go with me to Ohio State.’ Or ‘If I beat you at air hockey, you’ve got to commit to Duke,’ ” laughed Turner, the only McDonald’s All-American who has not decided on a school. “A lot of people want to know what’s going on with me and that’s OK. There’s no reason to stress yourself out. I’m just out here to have a great experience.”
That experience culminates with the 37th McDonald’s game at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the United Center. It’s not somewhere Turner envisioned himself just a couple years ago when he a wispy, uncertain sophomore.
“If you asked me then if I saw myself here I would’ve said no. I wasn’t as confident. I didn’t have the same savvy to my game,” said Turner, the Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year after averaging 17.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.4 blocks. “It’s been crazy. That’s the best word to describe it. This is a lot more than I expected.”
Now he expects a lot more from himself. Turner is ESPN’s second-ranked recruit but isn’t satisfied. He spent the McDonald’s practice sessions showing off his interior scoring ability and versatile offensive package. That included advancing to the finals in the Jam Fest 3-point contest on Monday.
“I’m the No. 2 guy in the nation, not No. 1,” Turner said. “That’s my drive. I still have a lot of work to do. Rankings don’t really mean much but you still want to have a track record of success.”
Fort Worth is certainly developing an impressive basketball track record. Turner is the second area player in three years to be tabbed a McDonald’s All American. Arlington Grace Prep’s Isaiah Austin was selected in 2012.
Texas has four boys and four girls competing in the games, including Emmanuel Mudiay (Prime Prep) and Ariel Atkins (Duncanville).
“There are a lot of familiar faces,” Turner said. “It’s great to be down here representing Texas with so many other McDonald’s All Americans. It makes it more fun.”
Turner is still having fun, despite the constant peppering of questions about his college commitment, which won’t happen until he sits down with his family after this month’s all-star circuit. The recruiting process can wait. Enjoying the moment can’t. In fact, when Turner recites the nine schools he’s considering, it sounds like a cheery jingle or fun mnemonic device. He names them in alphabetical order: Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas and Texas A&M.