By | Curran Daly
Twenty minutes before practice, freshman guard Tyra Turner dribbles alone. This is a common sight for her teammates who have seen her come in as a freshman and immediately become a major asset for the team.
She was recruited by head women’s basketball coach Michelle Bento-Jackson.
“This year she’s got a lot of weight on her shoulders, she’s a freshman, she’s playing 40 minutes a game, she never comes out, she runs her offense,” Bento-Jackson said. “I’ve told her from day one that I wouldn’t treat her like a freshman, and that I’d have expectations of her as if she was a senior.”
Turner responded well to these expectations and leads the Lumberjacks with an average 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. She’s come a long way since late July when she got a call from first year coach Bento-Jackson.
“My mom helped me send little films and highlights to the coach and that’s when she called me up the last week of July and was like ‘we really want you to come here,’” Turner said. “She talked to me over the phone about how nice the school was and everything and I just took the chance to come here.”
Turner is a psychology major who hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a probation officer, talking and working with kids while they’re young to turn around their lives. Turner had originally planned to attend a junior college until the call from Coach Bento-Jackson came.
“It was very late from a recruiting standpoint, and at that point in time, all I had was some game film of her,” Bento-Jackson said. “She’s definitely exceeded my expectations and she brings so much more to the floor than I had ever even thought.”
Her late decision to come to Humboldt left her in completely new surroundings not entirely sure what to expect. Turner said that she didn’t expect to lead the team in stats
“I don’t really look at it as leading in this and this and that, I’m just looking forward to helping my team win and be successful out there,” Turner said.
Turner has started every game except the first two of the season, and has taken control of the team’s offense. In the home game against Chico State, it was Turner’s passing and ball handling skills that kept the Lumberjacks in the game.
“I know that coming from a high school program is definitely gonna be tough.” Allison Zalin, a junior forward said. “On the court she brings toughness. She plays 40 minutes she doesn’t give up she’s pushing the ball she directs people on the court.”