Manvel (Texas) High senior Brianna Turner was named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Thursday. The 6-foot-3 wing led the Mavericks to a 38-2 record and the Class 5A state championship last season, averaging 20.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.2 steals, 3.9 blocks and 3.7 steals in just 23 minutes per game. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection and a WBCA All-American, Turner has also captured five gold medals with Team USA, including the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship as well as the 2013 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship.
We sat down with Turner to better understand how she outshined more than 433,000 high school girls basketball players nationwide to win the award.
Q: Since both your parents are police officers, was there ANY room to get into even a little trouble growing up?
A: No, none at all. They give me space, but I know all the laws and what not to break.
Q: You have a miniature pinscher named Rusty. What do you love the most and what bugs you the most about your dog?
A: Well, I also have two betta (Chinese fighting) fish, Hercules and Wonton. But Rusty is family. I’ve had him for eight years, since I was in the fourth grade. What bugs people is that he jumps a lot, and he jumps really high. He’s small, so they don’t expect it.
Q: So, who has the higher vertical, you or your miniature dog?
A: Rusty. Definitely.
Q: Word is, you have more than 50 pairs of sneakers. On a scale of one to 10, how bad is your kicks obsession?
A: It’s not bad. It’s a six. And nobody around here would disagree with me (glaring at her teammates as they protest the declaration).
Q: You’ve been quoted as saying Pat Summitt is the most impressive person you’ve ever met. Was going to Tennessee just not in the cards?
A: I have so much respect for her and the program she’s built, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
Q: Your favorite Olympian is Michael Phelps and you once said you wish you could pilot a submarine. What’s with your relationship with water?
A: We have a pool in our backyard, so I’m in the water a little bit. I’ve been swimming since I was a little kid, so yeah, there’s some history there.
Q: Is it true you want to be a sportscaster and, if so, do you see that playing out courtside or in studio or both?
A: Either one or both. Especially in the last couple of years, I’ve enjoyed watching people like Hannah Storm and Rebecca Lobo do their thing. It looks like something I’d like.