May 19, 2010
A likely lottery choice in the NBA draft is 6'7" Ohio State point guard Evan Turner, the college Player of the Year, from the West Side of Chicago. I may have watched him play as a 6th grader against my kid's elementary school team, which was pretty funny.
This kid was about 4" taller than anybody else on the court and infinitely more coordinated. But instead of having him set up inside as a center and shoot on every play like Wilt Chamberlain in 1962, he played point guard. He was determined to be a good teammate and get them the ball to shoot. So, he'd whip these amazing no look passes to his 12-year-old teammates, which, unfortunately, tended to bounce off their surprised faces before they could even get their hands up. On one fast break he grabbed a rebound and did that John Stockton move where he took one dribble then shotputted the ball right off the dribble without putting both hands on it the length of the court to a teammate sprinting downcourt, who, sadly, didn't expect it, so the ball hit him on the back of the head.
You could see why athletes of that caliber spend most of their time on AAU traveling all-star teams rather than playing for their schools.
The funny thing, though, is that although Turner is the right age and from the right place to be the kid I saw a decade ago, the more videos of him I watch, the more I think the kid I saw wasn't Evan Turner. Nor was he likely Derrick Rose, a Chicago contemporary, who was a recent #1 draft pick overall. So that just goes to show how steep the pyramid of talent is. Turner and Rose are better than the kid I saw.
By Steve Sailer on 5/19/2010