Valley resident finds home in pro hoops

A Valley resident has found a new opportunity in minor league professional hoops.

Snoqualmie Ridge resident Rick Turner is in his first season coaching the King County Royals, an expansion team in the growing American Basketball Association (ABA).

Turner has worked for local pro and college sports teams for the last 17 years and has spent time covering sports as well, mostly for KJR radio. He is a former Bellevue Community College men's basketball coach who was named the 2002 NWAACC Region Coach of the Year for his work coaching BCC, whose team that season included former Mount Si stars Jason Arriaga and Isaiah Cormier. He also led a now-defunct Bellevue team called the Blackhawks to the ABA title game in 2005, for which he was named the league's coach of the year that season.

"The most fun I've ever had coaching was with that ABA team in Bellevue in 2005," Turner wrote in an e-mail to the Valley Record. "Everything surrounding that season outside of basketball was a circus, but the team and coaching was unforgettable." Among the moments he mentioned was playing in Tijuana, Mexico, against a team featuring Dennis Rodman, and being the first team to beat a Long Beach, Calif., team that at the time was a two-time defending league champion; a Long Beach franchise first.

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