Only one of the core players from that great Memphis State team is still playing basketball. At 36, diminutive point guard Andre Turner runs the offense for Caja San Fernando, a professional basketball team in Seville, Spain.
"Seville is great," Turner told ESPN's "Outside the Lines." "The weather, you can't beat it. I'm used to the south. It's a great city to live in. This last three years I've had family come here and I've had the opportunity to be the tour guide."
He was the 5-foot-11, 160-pound motor for the Tigers, feeding Keith Lee, William Bedford and Baskerville Holmes for easy inside points. Turner and Holmes both played in 132 career games at Memphis State, still the standard for the Tigers.
"We called him the Little General," says Dana Kirk, his coach at Memphis State. "This guy was an amazing leader. I'd go in at halftime and say, 'Andre, what do we need to do?' He could tell me what we needed to do right away. The smallest guy out there had more leadership than anybody. He just completely took over."
At the professional level, he has been nothing if not a survivor.
The L.A. Lakers drafted him in the third round of the 1986 draft, but he appeared in only three games during the 1986-87 season for the Boston Celtics. After similarly brief and ineffective stops in Houston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles (this time with the Clippers) and Charlotte, Turner played in 70 games for Philadelphia 76ers in 1990-91 and another 70 games for Washington Bullets the next season. In all, he played for seven NBA teams in six seasons before becoming a fixture in Spain, where he has become fluent in Spanish.
Friends say he has been smart with his money. He returns to Memphis in the offseason and oversees his women's apparel store, "Andre's Sweet and Sassy Boutique," which is managed by his wife's sister.
Turner still believes Memphis State could have been the national champion. "I felt we should have gone farther (in the tournament) than we did," Turner said. "That was something that happened, something you have to deal with. You have to move on, you know, with life."
Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com
||This guy was an amazing leader. I'd go in at halftime and say, 'Andre, what do we need to do?' He could tell me what we needed to do right away. The smallest guy out there had more leadership than anybody. ”
||— Dana Kirk, former Memphis State coach on Andre Turner
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