Montgomery College sophomore Collin Turner of Poolesville was named the 2017-18 Spalding NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Player of the Year on April 12.
For his efforts, Turner was named to the 2017-18 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball All-America First Team after leading the Montgomery College Raptors to a fourth-place finish at the national tournament.
Turner, a resident of Poolesville who played basketball for the Falcons his senior year in the 2013-2014 season, expressed his enthusiasm for being recognized by the association. “This award means so much to me, it is truly one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. 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 ranked second in the nation at 28.0 points per game after scoring 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.
Montgomery College head coach Keith Byrd commended Turner for his efforts during his career. “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. 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. His work ethic has helped this program to 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 Poolesville native totaled 152 three-point shots during his tenure at Montgomery College. He started 31 of 34 games for the Raptors shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc, and 76 percent from the foul line this season. He helped lead the Raptors to a 26-9 season.
Turner expanded on his career as a Raptor. “Being a NJCAA student-athlete at Montgomery has opened so many doors for me. It has helped me grow as a young man and as a basketball player. I really feel like playing at Montgomery 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,” said Turner. “I am truly honored to represent this award.”
Photos courtesy Michael Simone and Montgomery College