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May 3, 2014

New offers, new city, new position for Turner



To say the past 12 months have been hectic for Lamonte' Turner would be an understatement. In less then a year's time he moved from Alabama to Jacksonville, Florida in order to attend Arlington Country Day and in the process was reclassified from the Class of 2015 to the Class of 2016, began learning a new position and changed AAU teams.

On top of all that, according to Turner, throughout this time of change, his recruitment picked up noticeably.

"Reclassifying made a major impact in my recruitment," Turner said. "Almost every school that was showing interest when I was 2015 offered me when I reclassified to 2016."

Heading into the Bob Gibbons Tournament with his E1T1 Elite 17U teammates, Turner holds offers from West Virginia, Florida, Wichita State, Murray State, South Carolina, Miami, Oklahoma, Mercer, Auburn, Morehead State and Jacksonville University. Turner said that some of those offers caught him by surprise.

"West Virginia offered me the night we beat Oak Hill and that was Coach (Bob) Huggins' first time seeing me. Florida and Oklahoma offered me the first time they saw me in practice. That was very surprising. Florida and Wichita State are recruiting me the hardest right now," Turner explained.

An Alabama native, the sophomore keeps in touch with family as much as he can and feels the move to Jacksonville has helped him grow.

"It has been a great experience, the weather is very different," said Turner. "Moving away from my family and parents has been hard, but it helped me mature a lot having to do more for myself."

Known for their successful basketball program, Arlington Country Day, small private school located on the southside of Jacksonville, is one of two schools to ever win five consecutive FHSAA State Championships, Turner believes ACD is preparing him for the next level.

"Practices are as intense as it gets," he said. "I love competing in practice at ACD. I honestly believe my game improved so much just from battling Nate Mason (Minnesota commit) and Brandone Francis (Florida signee) in practice. And I'm looking forward to it again next season."

Turner, a Rivals.com four-star guard, ranked No. 56 in the Class of 2016, is listed at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds - not exactly ideal size for a shooting guard, the position he played while in Alabama.

"It's tough, but it's a process," Turner said about learning to play point guard. "Las year I was score first, pass second. This year I'm working to be the opposite and really get others involved and run a team. It can be hard sometimes, but I think I'm making good progress."


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