Josiah Turner (USA Today Sports Images)
If Josiah Turner thought the low point of his basketball career was being asked to leave Arizona last spring amid drug and alcohol problems, the highly touted point guard quickly learned things could get tougher.
The Hungarian pro team he originally signed with last fall housed him in a filthy, bedbug-infested apartment so dilapidated his agent removed him from the team after only one month. The Canadian pro team he joined after leaving Hungary informed him in January his services were no longer required after he repeatedly clashed with the head coach. And even after a successful second-half of the season with another Canadian team, Turner still had to return to Arizona and serve two days in prison as a result of a DUI charge from the previous year.
"Everything I've been through has served a purpose because it has humbled me and forced me to mature," Turner recently told Yahoo! Sports. "I'm more focused and disciplined now. I'll never go down a bad path again."
The challenge now facing Turner is to prove that to skeptical scouts and general managers before next month's NBA draft. He'll have his first opportunity on Saturday in Los Angeles when representatives of about 10 NBA teams attend one of his workouts and visit with him afterward.
Though the 2013 draft is especially weak at point guard and the 6-foot-3 Turner has the size, court vision and explosiveness NBA teams covet at the position, raw ability alone may not be enough to get the Sacramento native drafted in even the second round.
He'll have to persuade executives from NBA teams he has matured enough that alcohol and marijuana are no longer issues and that he won't continue to butt heads with coaches the way he did in high school and college. It also wouldn't hurt if he showed improvement in his ability to sink an outside shot coming off a pick and roll, a liability both at Arizona and in Canada.
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