When watching Evan Turner succeed on the court, it’s hard to fathom just how much the NBA player had to overcome as a child to reach the pinnacle of his sport.
The current Philadelphia 76er guard was a hefty 10 pounds when he was born. Before he was able to celebrate a birthday, he had chicken pox, pneumonia, asthma and measles.
The measles, in particular, were so bad that he had to be taken to the emergency room.
“Doctors took one look at him and just took him away,” his mother said in an interview with ESPN. “They had tubes and machines and everything there in a second. He nearly died.”
Turner survived that, but the struggles didn’t stop there.
He had severe breathing problems, and as a result, had to have his adenoids and tonsils removed.
Nope, doesn’t stop there.
When he was three years old, Turner was hit by a car. His mother reportedly saw him flip in the air and land on his head. Yet he only suffered a concussion.
Doesn’t stop there.
Turner, because of oversized baby teeth and a large overbite, also struggled to speak when he was young. He was forced to undergo intense speech therapy.
“I’m still shy, but I’m not insecure anymore,” Turner said. “I just know how to hide it better. When I was little, I just didn’t like being around big groups of people. I would just go outside by myself and play basketball. It was almost therapeutic.”
His basketball therapy helped him land a scholarship to Ohio State in 2007. With the Buckeyes, Turner truly made a name for himself.
In 2010, his junior season, Turner was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, he was a consensus NCAA All-American First Team pick and he won National Player of the Year.
He won all of those awards despite suffering a scary back injury in the fourth week of the season.
Turner, who was more than accustomed to fighting through pain by then, returned to the team in one month, four weeks ahead of schedule.
“The Villain,” as other teams like to call him, was drafted by the 76ers as the second overall pick in the 2010 draft.
And if he ever finds himself in a rough spot in the NBA, it won’t be surprising to see him push through it with ease.
Presented by MetLife. I Can Do This.