Scott Turner (left), Bloom coach | Supplied photo
Updated: April 19, 2014 6:23AM
Of paying respects and giving some …
“He was a guy who flew under the radar, but always did so much.”
Ron Newquist couldn’t have been more spot-on about Scott Turner, the assistant coach/teacher/guider/encourager/grandfather of Bloom girls basketball, who passed away on Feb. 27 at age 67.
Turner, who graduated from Western Illinois University, began his career at Bloom in the middle 1970s as a sophomore coach and then was an assistant to Marilyn Anderson until she retired with 359 career victories in 1999.
“I worked with the outside players and he worked with the inside players,” said Anderson, who lives in Columbia, Mo. “We were two very different people. I was domineering and he was set back a little bit.
“When the kids were irritated with me, they ran to him,” she added, laughing. “It seemed to work all right.”
For the past few seasons Turner had been a freshman coach.
“He was a good X’s and O’s guy, but he was really better at teaching the fundamentals to the younger kids,” Newquist said. “That’s why we had him on the freshman level. He was so good and so patient at teaching the fundamentals and the game itself.
“And he was like a grandfather figure. The kids loved him. He was so kind and gentle.”
Turner fulfilled what would be his last duties at Bloom on Feb. 25, when he directed the teams that were competing in the Class 4A sectional semifinals to and from their locker rooms.
Two days later, he quietly slipped away. Bloom’s basketball players, Newquist said, attended his wake together.
“I have never in my life had a person more dedicated to Bloom high school and the basketball program,” Newquist said. “He lived for Bloom basketball.”
His impact, especially for those he coached on the freshman level, will be felt for years to come.
And now, let’s give some respect.
All of those who made our 20-girl honorable mention list had all-area attributes. Two had the misfortune of missing large chunks of the season. Had they not, most certainly junior Danielle King, of Bloom, and senior Molly Franson, of Andrew, would have made an already arduous task of selecting the 16 all-area members even more difficult.
In a half-season worth of games, King, who in separate issues battled turf toe and an ankle injury, averaged 19.9 points per game.
“The games that she played in, she was outstanding,” Newquist said. “Unfortunately, Danielle has been injured a lot during her career. But when she’s out there playing she is obviously one of the best players on the floor at all times.
“When she’s available to play, she plays hard, gives it everything she’s got. She’ll be motivated for next year. Everybody on my team feels that if we’re all healthy we’ll have a chance to go downstate.”
Franson went down in the third game at Thanksgiving, tweaking the left knee that had been surgically repaired when she was a sophomore.
Returning in January, she averaged 14.6 points and 8.3 rebounds. I’m not Nostradamus, but I guarantee that in a full and healthy season, those numbers are somewhere closer to 20 and 12.
“It scared us all when it (the re-injury) happened,” Andrew coach Bobby Matz said. “To see her go down, a kid who has been through so much and worked so hard to get back, to see her laying there we were, ‘God, don’t let this happen again. She deserves better than that.’
“I loved her maturity, how she handled her injury. She handled everything understanding what high school basketball is about, and it never got to her. It says a lot about who she is.”