Championship ambition: Turner here to win title with Island Storm

Jason Malloy
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Josiah Turner has some unfinished business.

The point guard from Sacramento, Calif., went up for a rebound during Game 4 of the best-of-five National Basketball League of Canada final on April 12, 2013. Another player undercut him and Turner landed on his tailbone.

He had to leave the game and would not return as the London Lightning defeated the Storm to end the season.

"I think about it all the time," said Turner, the now 23-year-old member of the Island Storm. "If I would have played that game, I think, we would have had a chance to go back up to London for the (next) game and had a chance to beat them."

Turner, who has played the past two seasons in the NBA Development League, joined the Storm last week in Ontario.

His goal for this season is simple.

"Championship. Period," Turner said before Wednesday's practice. "Get back to where we were the past few years."

Turner is expected to make his Eastlink Centre debut tonight when the Storm hosts the Moncton Miracles at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.

"Josiah is a special player," head coach, Joe Salerno, said.

"He is just the guy, above any guy that I've ever coached or seen, that can make everybody around him better. Josiah is a huge, huge piece for us."

Turner said he is a pass-first point guard, and Salerno noted his new teammates have to stay ready for his passes.

"It takes a little while for guys to react and understand how to play with a guy of his calibre," the coach said. "You're going to get hit in the face with a couple of basketballs if you're not ready for it."

Turner backed up captain Al Stewart during his first Island stay. This time he has the keys to run the team's offence.

"Al Stewart was a big influence on me," Turner said. "He taught me how to be player on and off the court."

The Storm and Miracles are tied in the basement of the Atlantic Division with 5-9 records.

"Moncton is a very, very good team," Salerno said. "They're way better than their record shows."

The Storm plays at Halifax Friday at 7 p.m. and in Moncton on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Malcolm Grant is still on the injured reserve but practised the past two days.

Organizations: Eastlink Centre, London Lightning, NBA Development League

Geographic location: Sacramento, Calif., Ontario, Moncton

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