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One of the greatest compliments a coach can receive is following their former players after their playing careers are over.
For long-time Albion College men’s basketball coach Mike Turner, that honor has been multiplied by four.
Four of Turner’s former players, Milton Barnes (Class of 1979), Marcus Gill (Class of 2004), Rick Palmer (Class of 2006), and Michael Thomas (Class of 2005) have come together to pay tribute to their former coach on the same court they once competed for the Britons.
Turner, a 1969 Albion graduate, became an assistant coach for the men’s basketball in 1970, and eventually took over head coaching duties in 1974 and held that position until retiring in 2008. He recorded a 527-319 mark as the head coach of the Albion College program, including four NCAA Division III postseason tournament appearances.
The inaugural Mike Turner Classic will feature the Albion men’s basketball team, followed by a pair of boys varsity basketball matchups.
The Britons will host Kalamazoo College at 3 p.m., followed by Thomas’ Grand Blanc Bobcats taking on Palmer’s Birmingham Brother Rice Warriors at approximately 5:30 p.m. and Barnes’ Jackson High Vikings taking on Gill’s Concord Yellowjackets at approximately 7 p.m.
“Coach Turner was such an influential force in my life, and I know the other guys feel the same way,” said Barnes. “We talked about the idea of putting something like this together, and I’m glad we were able to make this happen. Now, we are just hoping to make this an annual tradition and maybe even expand the field in the future.”