Big East Hoops 24/7 (@bigeasttourney) recently caught up with former St. John’s standout & current FS1 analyst Tarik Turner on a variety of topics. With some bonus comments from Tim Brando. Check it out:
BEH 24/7: Other than your Mom & Dad who’s been the most influential person in your career path?
Tarik: “Outside of my parents, STJ faculty/alumni had biggest impact on career, gave me my first shot at broadcasting as bball radio analyst, helped me grow and learn the business of media thru the vast alumni network.”
BEH 24/7: Looking back after all of these years can you appreciate all of the pressure Felipe Lopez had to handle at such a young age?
Tarik: “Felipe was Lebron before Lebron in high school and did it in the mecca of bball NYC. We were all amazed by how he handled the pressure of being the #1 player out of HS, dealing with media at a young age and living up to expectations. Always stayed humble and treated people with respect. First class dude all the way.”
BEH 24/7: You committed to St John’s back in October of ’93 after visiting California & Syracuse. What did you like about St John’s so much?
Tarik: “The chance to play in the mecca of bball, MSG and attend a great university with great tradition, along with living in NYC. Looked at it as a great opportunity for me to learn about myself, grow up and further my career goals after graduation.”
BEH 24/7: Do you have any good Malik Sealy stories?
Tarik: “Malik was like a big brother to us. He took a lot of pride in giving back to the younger guys in the STJ program, came back every summer and played pick up ball with us. Every summer he threw a legendary party in Manhattan and always made sure to look out for me and my teammates to get in and get VIP treatment. He was the first person to take me under his wing and show me the ropes of living in NYC. We all looked up to him and miss him deeply. RIP.”
BEH 24/7: Between basketball & broadcasting which do you feel you’ve had to work harder at?
Tarik: “Theres nothing like competing as a player in terms of the work I put in to be on top of my game. It’s been a fun transition into broadcasting, where I can study and analyze the game. I’m passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like work.”
BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 guys you had to guard in your Big East days?
Tarik: “Top 5 guys I guarded: Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Vonteego Cummings, Alvin Williams.”
BEH 24/7: What’s the one Big East game you’d pay to go see this year?
Tarik: “Nova vs Providence…big-time guard play, best group of guards (Nova) vs best overall guard/player (Kris Dunn Providence)….exciting match up.”
BEH 24/7: What did you think of the Gavitt games?
Tarik: “Gavitt games were a great way to kick off the season while paying tribute to the founding father, Dave Gavitt. A lot of people, including myself, learned more about Dave’s vision and how passionate he was about the Big East Conference.”
BEH 24/7: Why should a high school basketball recruit consider playing in the Big East?
Tarik: “The chance to play in an elite conference with great competition, coaches, tradition..a bball only league where you’re the only show in town, on the biggest stage, mecca of hoops, Madison Square Garden for the Big East tourney.”
BEH 24/7: Do you ever get tired of Donny Marshall reminding everyone how good those UCONN teams were?
Tarik: “Donny can’t help himself when it comes to reminding us about his UCONN days…its in his DNA. We went from not liking each other as opponents to becoming good friends through our broadcasting careers…great guy, great career. Honor to work with.”
BONUS: Tim Brando comments on Tarik
BEH 24/7: We asked Tim for a comment or two regarding working with Tarik
Tim: “Tarik’s intensity as a player is equaled in his approach breaking down a game. His understanding of BIG EAST BB history and blending that into his analysis is also a strength of his.”
Thanks to Tarik & Tim for taking the time to answer a few questions. Class guys all the way! You can follow them @tarik4turner and @TimBrando