Former Magic forward Jeff Turner coached the Lake Highland Prep. basketball team to its first state championship with a 67-50 win over Boca Raton St. Andrew's on Thursday at the Lakeland Center. The Highlanders used a suffocating 1-3-1 press defense to force more than 20 turnovers and secure the victory.
They did so without a strong game from their best player, North Carolina commit Joel Berry. Berry still finished with 21 points.
The Highlanders have been knocking on the door for a state championship for a few years nowo, coming up just short last year int he state championship game against Pine Crest (the Panthers were playing their first year without Pistons guard Brandon Knight).
Turner has been a presence with the Magic and in the Orlando community ever since he became the team's first free agent acquisition during the expansion 1989-90 season. Turner played seven seasons for the Magic and helped spread the floor as one of the few stretch-4s in the league at the time.
Turner returned to Orlando shortly after his playing days and he immediately latched on as the radio voice of the Magic. He continued working in the community and has been involved with Lake Highland's basketball program since at least 2002. He has been involved with Lake Highland as a director of leadership programs at the school, working with students and student athletes in becoming better leaders on campus and building team and group chemistry in sports and in studies..
Turner took over as head coach of the basketball team a few years ago. He left the radio broadcast but stayed with the Magic as an on-air personality for the Magic's pregame and postgame shows on Fox Sports Florida.