Josiah Turner‘s last-minute decision to pull out of the USA Basketball U19 training camp is disappointing… and a little disconcerting.
It’s disappointing because it would have offered a preview of sorts for next season, when the five-star recruit begins his college career with the University of Arizona. As one of just three high school players invited to the training camp in Colorado, he would have had a chance to play with some top talent.
Twelve of the 21 invited players from the camp will be selected to play for the USA at the U19 World Championships later in the summer.
But he would also have had a chance to get on the same floor with Arizona State‘s much-heralded member of the 2011 recruiting class, Jahii Carson, to compete for a spot on the roster. The pair should help heat up the rivalry between the two Pac-10 schools for at least the next few years.
Both players are expected to work their way into the starting lineups fairly quickly and become integral to the future success of both programs.
Turner is the first five-star recruit that Wildcat head coach Sean Miller has ever snagged and is projected by many to possibly be the one to lead Arizona back to the days when it was known as Point Guard U. He is part of a recruiting class that earned a top-10 ranking.
Carson is a local product, coming out of Mesa High School. He is a four-star point guard who was ranked No. 10 nationally at his position and is expected to make an immediate impact on the Sun Devil program.
But the disconcerting part of Turner’s abrupt decision to not show up for the training camp is that it follows a pattern of instability and lack of commitment that has plagued the youngster for years.
He attended Cordova High School in California for his freshman year, then tried to transfer to Sheldon High School the next year, but the state’s athletic governing organization wouldn’t clear him to play ball there. So he went back to Sacramento High.
But midway through his senior year, he told his coach he was leaving the program, began missing practices and games, and was eventually removed from the team.
He landed in North Carolina and spent the rest of his senior year at Quality Education Academy, a school known more for its nationally-ranked basketball program than its quality of education.
Now he has jumped ship from the USA Basketball camp, when he has known since mid-May that he was expected to attend. And his notice to camp officials, citing “schedule conflicts”, came the day before the camp was to begin.
Next, he is supposed to arrive in Tucson next month to begin taking summer classes.
Unless, of course, he has more schedule conflicts.