Rick Turner appointed Jamaica's head basketball coach

By December 19, 2018
Rick Turner Rick Turner

Veteran US coach, Rick Turner, has been named National Coordinator and Coach for the Jamaican Men’s Basketball Programme.

Turner’s appointment took effect on December 1 and has been working with the national programme since.

Turner joins the Jamaican men’s national team with 30 years’ coaching experience. He began his coaching career at the age of 19 and went on to work for nine seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics, first as an assistant to Director of Scouting Gary Wortman and later with head coaches, Bernie Bickerstaff and George Karl.

From there he coached full-time, starting as an assistant at Bellevue College before becoming the head coach. Under Turner’s leadership, the Helmsmen went to the NWAACC tournament three straight years, including a final four appearance. He also won a Coach of the Year award.

“I am so excited about this opportunity and the chance to be a part of a leadership team that puts Jamaican Basketball on the map, on the international stage,” Turner said of his appointment.

“From the moment I first walked off the plane in Kingston back in 1999, I fell in love with the country and the incredible Jamaican people who have always treated me with genuine kindness and respect. The passion of the Jamaican people, the knowledge of the game, along with the outstanding athletic talent made me realize right away that there was great potential for a world-class programme.”

Jamaica Basketball Association President Paulton Gordon said the moment he met Turner, he knew he was the right man to help transform Jamaica’s basketball fortunes

“I met with Coach Turner over the summer and invited him to be a part of our Star Search Camp at GC Foster. It became apparent right away that Jamaica held a special place for him and that his work within the country over the many years gave him a unique knowledge and perspective,” Gordon said.

“After talking about our shared interests and sharing our visions for the programme with each other, we decided that adding Coach Turner to our team was something important moving forward.”

JABA General Secretary Marland Nattie said the association was fortunate to find someone with the experience, passion and integrity of Rick Turner to join the programme as they focus on the 23 World Championships and 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“He has been a grinder in the basketball business for a long time and brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, a track record of success everywhere he’s been, a tremendous amount of respect from those who know him, who have coached with and against him, as well as those who have played for him. He has the type of character that Jamaica can be proud of,” Nattie said.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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