Rockets hire Barbara Turner to lead player development

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The Rockets are hiring Barbara Turner to lead their player development efforts, as first reported by Cayleigh Griffin of AT&T SportsNet Southwest. Now 37 years old, Turner worked under lead assistant coach John Lucas this offseason and also served as a translator for Turkish big man Alperen Sengun, who Houston drafted in the 2021 first round.

Turner played three WNBA seasons from 2006 to 2008, including one year with the Houston Comets in 2007. After that, she went on to play several professional seasons internationally in Turkey, which is where she learned the language and became a dual citizen.

Turner’s unique combination of basketball knowledge plus knowing Turkish made her important to Sengun as part of his transition, and that partnership will continue into the 2021-22 season. In her newly official role, Turner is now responsible for working with other players, as well.

Turner was a McDonald’s All-American in high school and a distinguished college player at the University of Connecticut (UConn), where she helped the Huskies win back-to-back national titles in 2003 and 2004.

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