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Jeff Eisenberg

Evan Turner's no Sinatra, but don't be too hard on him

Evan Turner returned from a broken back last season in four weeks, won every national player of the year award despite playing out of position at point guard and parlayed that into becoming the No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

Is there anything the former Ohio State star can't do? Well, his chances of landing a record deal aren't too promising.

Turner had no trouble throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field before Monday's Cubs-Pirates game, but his rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game won't draw any Frank Sinatra comparisons. He started off strong, got off-key in the middle and let the crowd handle the end, though he deserves major credit for having the guts to take the microphone at all considering even speaking was once difficult for him.

As a result of Turner's oversized baby teeth and a difficult overbite, it was difficult for even his own mother to understand what he was saying as a toddler. Frequent visits to a speech therapist helped, but the stigma of taking special classes and not being understood made Turner shy and insecure as a kid.

Turner has plenty of confidence now and even credits his difficult childhood for pushing him to channel his frustrations through basketball. He might falter halfway through a karaoke song, but he'll prove with the 76ers just like he did at Ohio State that he won't fade like that during a game.

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