Whitney Turner’s hometown of Okemos and college life in Boston are two different worlds.
But on Thanksgiving this year, those worlds collided.
She invited her entire Boston University basketball team over to her parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner prior to its road trip to play Eastern Michigan and Michigan.
“It was pretty stressful for my mom, but she made it work, and it was really nice,” Turner said. “It was just nice to have my team and my family there all at once.”
On Friday and Saturday of that week, her family came to see her take on the two local schools. The Terriers defeated Eastern Michigan but lost to Michigan.
“That was super fun for me,” Turner said. “My whole family came out to both the games. It was a real nice homecoming.”
It’s been part of an already successful season for Turner and Boston University. Following the loss to Michigan, it reeled off eight straight wins.
Turner has been in the middle of it all, as she has started every game in her junior season. Through 14 games she is averaging 4.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.3 rebounds per game.
She has become a selfless player that is focused on doing whatever is possible to get her team a win.
“I just take it one game at a time and focus on team goals and not much for just me,” Turner said.
The team has its sights set on the NCAA tournament. The Terriers were two wins away from reaching the Big Dance last season but still have not been there since 2003.
To get there this season, Turner and the Terriers are relying on their defense.
“We come into every game and just try to shut down the other team, and that is what brings our offense into play,” Turner said.
As for her own goals, Turner has her sights set on graduation. The political science major has no trouble looking forward to her studies.
“I definitely love the classes here,” Turner said. “They are very interesting, and the teachers make it very easy to come to class.”
A degree and a trip to the tournament will have Turner feeling thankful every time she comes back to Okemos, regardless of if it’s Thanksgiving.