Brett Turner has gone from BMX champion to AFL draft hopeful

Published on: Nov 06 2014 | Author: admin |

WEST Adelaide utility Brett Turner was once a ­national BMX champion and state basketballer.

Now he is an AFL draft prospect.

Matt Turner | The Advertiser

WEST Adelaide utility Brett Turner was once a ­national BMX champion and state basketballer.

Now he is an AFL draft prospect.

Turner, 18, has caught the attention of AFL clubs after playing three reserves and 17 under-18 games this past season — his first ­without other sporting ­commitments.

He was also invited to test for recruiters at last month’s state draft combine.

After giving up on his NBA and Olympic ambitions, Turner is eyeing a spot on an AFL list.

“As far-fetched as it might sound now, it’s always been a dream of mine (to play AFL),” Turner says.

“I’d like to think recruiters think there’s a lot of scope for improvement.”

Turner, of Flagstaff Hill, is a late bloomer in footy, only taking up the sport in Year 8.

His first love was BMX.

He won a national junior title as an eight-year-old and raced at Happy Valley BMX Club.

“I was riding my bike when I was four and racing when I was five,” Turner says. “After I quit it became an Olympic sport but by that stage I’d decided to play basketball.

“It’s a bit of a regret to leave that behind me but what’s done is done.

“The (BMX) bike’s now out the back, getting cobwebs on it.”

Turner quit BMX when he was 10 to concentrate on playing hoops.

As a point guard for Sturt Sabres, he was selected in a handful of state junior ­basketball teams. His passion for the game waned as his love of footy grew while playing for ­Flagstaff Hill.

“It was the end of my state under-16 season … and I thought to myself I wasn’t really going to make an NBA career out of this.

“I preferred football and enjoyed the culture of it a lot more.”

The decision sat well with Turner’s grandfather, former West Adelaide player Russell Roberts, who watched most of his games this year.

“He’s never really been a BMX or basketball fan.”

Turner, a half-back flanker/midfielder, will train with the Bloods during the November 27 national draft.

“Hopefully I can get the night off to have a look at it.

“It’s going to be really hard to get picked up but I’ll try my hardest.”