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Turner among Silver Anniversary Team honorees

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    Turner among Silver Anniversary Team honorees

    Turner among Silver Anniversary Team honorees

    By Pat McKee

    December 02, 2002

    Landon Turner seemed destined for a productive professional basketball career when a single-car accident in July 1981 eliminated those dreams for the then-Indiana University player.

    But after helping the Hoosiers to the '81 NCAA championship, the community reached out with several fund-raisers to help pay the cost of rehabilition for the former Tech High School star.

    On Monday, again showing that he has not been forgotten, Turner was among 15 men chosen to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's 2003 Silver Anniversary Team that recognizes high school graduates from 25 years earlier.

    "This is a great honor and lets me know that my hard work didn't go unremembered," said Turner, who still is paralyzed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair.

    "I have some great memories of my high school days and the rivalries we had with Broad Ripple, Howe and Attucks. But I also had some disappointments in that I that I think we should have won state three years in a row and we never did."

    As a senior, the 6-10 Turner averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds in leading the Titans to the semistate where they fell to eventual state champion Muncie Central. He was named a McDonald's All-American and then went to IU, where he teamed with Isiah Thomas, Ray Tolbert, Randy Wittman, Ted Kitchel and others to help the Hoosiers to their fourth NCAA title.

    "That wasn't the easiest year for me as I was young, immature and didn't have all my priorities together," Turner said. "For part of the Big Ten season, I was on the bench. But toward the end of the year, I decided to get my act together and everything fell into place. I regained a spot as a starter, and we never lost again."

    That summer, however, he was in a single-car accident while driving on Ind. 46 east of Columbus on a Saturday morning when he and friends were headed for a day at a Cincinnati-area amusement park. He suffered a spinal-cord injury, and his basketball career was ended, although the Boston Celtics did draft him the following spring.

    These days, Turner works as a motivational speaker and talks to adult and student groups.

    "I tell my story and explain that if I can do it, you can, too," he said.

    Turner and the other Silver Anniversary Team members will be honored March 26 as part of the hall's 2003 induction ceremony at Primo's Banquet Hall in Indianapolis. For tickets, call 1-765-529-1891.

    Quick hits

    • McCutcheon quarterback Clayton Richard and Penn defensive lineman Bryan Mattison have been selected to play in the third U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The national all-star football game will be played Jan. 5 in San Antonio.

    • Heritage Christian senior Todd Abernethy has committed to attend Wright State in basketball. He plans to sign a national letter of intent during the spring signing period that begins in April.

    • Brebeuf Jesuit senior John Carlstedt has accepted a scholarship to Northwestern in soccer. Carlstedt is a midfielder who earned second-team all-state honors as a senior.

    • Tom Beerman has stepped down as volleyball coach at Bloomington North after seven seasons. His record with the Cougars was 176-54. Beerman, who guided the Cougars to the Class 4A state finals this season, previously won state championships in 1987 and 1991 during a long tenure at Fort Wayne Snider.

    Call Pat McKee at 1-317-444-6182.