From Cuts to Glory: Turner Named National Player of the Year
Collin Turner didn’t make the Montgomery College men’s basketball team when he first tried out for head coach Keith Byrd. After three years of maturing both in the classroom and on the court, Turner was named the National Spalding NJCAA Division III Player of the Year. He was also named to the 2017-18 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball All-America First Team after leading the Raptors to a fourth-place finish at the national tournament.
“Being a student-athlete at Montgomery College has opened so many doors for me and it has helped me grow as a young man and as a basketball player,” said Turner
“Collin is a young man who tried out for the team in 2015. I didn’t select him and he used that to motivate him for the years ahead,” said Byrd, an MC alum and the 2018 District 7 coach of the year. “He is the epitome of hard work. That decision…really allowed him to understand what it takes to get to where you want to be in life. It’s through hard work, dedication, and determination.”
Turner, a Poolesville High grad who averaged 28 points per game this season for the Raptors, reflected on the highest honor a basketball player can earn at this level.
“This award means so much to me, it is truly one of the greatest accomplishments in my life,” he said. “I’ve put so much work into this game and to be named the NJCAA Dlll player of the year means the world to me.”
Turner’s scoring average ranked second in the nation. He scored 30 or more points on 18 occasions, including three games of more than 40 points. Turner’s scoring efforts were complimented by his shooting ability as the sophomore posted percentages of 48.6 from the field and 42.4 from three-point range.
“This is a great honor for Collin and his family. Montgomery College, the men’s basketball program, and our Raptor fans are very proud of him,” Byrd said. “His commitment to our community and hard work both on the court and in the classroom has afforded him this tremendous recognition. He is a very coachable player—totally committed to making sure the program is successful. He is the epitome of determination and dedication and his work ethic has helped this program win over 45 games during his time here.”
Turner’s career as a Raptor concluded with 1,197 career points while shooting 48.8 from the floor. The six-foot guard totaled 152 three-pointers during his tenure at Montgomery College.
“Being a student-athlete at Montgomery College has opened so many doors for me and it has helped me grow as a young man and as a basketball player,” said Turner, reflecting on his career as a Raptor. “I really feel like playing at MC has given me a second chance to improve and compete at the next level. I would like to thank my head coach Keith Byrd as well as my assistant coaches Jamal Wise and coach Elliot Hedley as well as everyone else behind the scenes at MC that made this possible. Once again, I would like to thank the NJCAA for recognizing me and allowing me to be the player that I am on their platform. I am truly honored to represent this award.”
MC Women’s Basketball: Armonie Lomax Named First Team All-American
Sophomore Armonie Lomax has also been named one of the Division III First Team All-Americans. Lomax’s 18.3 points per game led the Raptors to a fifth-place finish at the national tournament. She had 12 games in which she scored 20 or more points. Lomax’s career as a Raptor concluded with 1,128 career points.
“Armonie is a hard-working student and athlete… She is evidence that hard work pays off!
“Armonie is a hard-working student and athlete,” Montgomery College Head Coach Tarlouh Gasque said. “A true competitor that didn’t take any time off this off-season, she was determined to make sure that she improved her skill level… She has grown over the last two years with me. She is evidence that hard work pays off!”