The Student News Site of Bellevue West Senior High School

The Thunderbeat

The Student News Site of Bellevue West Senior High School

The Thunderbeat

The Student News Site of Bellevue West Senior High School

The Thunderbeat

Boys basketball captain Eldon Turner contributes leadership, skills for team

On the court the team passes the ball, and number ten, seeing his chance, dribbles fast toward the hoop. He leaps and it flies through the rim, leaving him to land on the other side of the backboard. Senior Eldon Turner straightens back up, and shares a smile with his coach. 

Turner’s coach, Steve Klein, said that they’ve known each other since Turner was in Junior T-birds 8 years ago. A lot has changed since then, and Turner has grown to be a strong player for the Varsity Boys team. 

“He’s our starting point guard,” Klein said. “He’s one of our captains. And he is kind of our vocal leader, and he’s our guy who kind of gets us going and makes sure that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Turner said that he first started playing the sport around the age of 4, joining a team composed of kids significantly older than him. This stuck, and basketball is now the only sport that he plays competitively. Still, he’s involved in conditioning year-round, keeping himself in shape for the basketball season.

Besides conditioning, Turner said another major factor in his performance is his mindset. He said that his focused headspace is helped by his routine of a nap and time to relax before a game. 

“You’ve got to think of so many things at once, but you can’t get overheated in your head,” Turner said. “So you’ve just got to stay calm.”

Especially as one of the team’s captains, Turner said he works closely with his teammates for success on the court. Senior Jaden Jackson plays with him and said that Turner has filled that leadership role well.

“Eldon brings leadership and his accountability to lead a team,” Jackson said. “He tells us when we mess up, picks us up and tells us to move on to the next play.”

Klein said that one barrier that Turner has faced is his height.

“He’s always been kind of one of the smallest players on the court,” Klein said. “And so I always think I’m really, really proud of the fact that he’s kind of a bulldog. He’s a tough kid who doesn’t let his stature and everything affect how he plays or how results will happen and things like that. And so he’s just a really, really tough kid.”

Going forward, Turner is committed to play for Wayne State University next year. He said that he knows others that have gone there, and Klein said that he was looking forward to seeing Turner play for his Alma mater. 

“Just a different environment and a different feel and just kind of seeing the next step of basketball, seeing how far I can push myself,” Turner said.

Overall, Klein said that he was very impressed by Turner’s skill and positive impact on the team. 

“He’s an elite level defender,” Klein said. “He guards the dribble really, really well. For a point guard, he’s probably one of the best rebounding point guards I’ve ever coached. And he’s just ruthless and relentless. He never gives up on anything, no matter what happens, and he always sticks with it.”

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