The talented but troubled former Arizona guard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that he will sign with a pro team next season either overseas or in the D-League in hopes he can parlay that into an opportunity to make the NBA the following year.
Turner, the first player Larry Brown landed after accepting the SMU job in April, had a change of heart while working out in Los Angeles the past couple months. The former five-star recruit ultimately decided last week that it made more sense for him to audition for the NBA next season as a professional rather than spending a minimum of two years at SMU while taking a full class load.
"I had to step back and reevaluate what my main goal and my dream was," Turner said. "My dream is to be a professional athlete in the NBA and I think this is what's going to bring me closer to it. In college, you get your degree and everything, but going pro is getting me closer to my dream and what I want to do in life."
Turner's decision to turn pro concludes a brief but tumultuous college career rife with disciplinary issues.
Hailed as the next great point guard in the Arizona lineage after he chose the Wildcats over Kansas, UCLA and Louisville among others, Turner instead struggled on the court and off as a freshman last season. He lost his starting job early in the season, sat out a Dec. 6 game for disciplinary reasons and later was suspended for the rest of the season on the eve of the Pac-12 tournament.
The nadir came for Turner in late April when campus police arrested him on suspicion of extreme DUI just weeks after Arizona coach Sean Miller asked him to leave the program for good. He was stopped for allegedly driving through a red light and recorded blood-alcohol levels of 0.15 and 0.16, nearly twice the legal limit.Read More »from Ex-Arizona guard Josiah Turner turns pro rather than transferring to SMU