By Diego Olivares
East Los Angeles College Women’s Basketball Coach Bruce Turner hopes to create positive values through his coaching.
A basketball fan since childhood, Turner has huge passion of the sport. “I’ve always loved basketball. I love the teamwork,” Turner said.
Turner has been coaching and teaching ELAC’s women’s basketball for more than eight seasons. His first season was back in fall of 2005.
It is through the fast-paced, training environment that Turner gives his students the skills needed for victory.
“I want to make basketball like playing soccer on a hard-surface floor,” Turner said.
Turner feels that coaching basketball is very similar to teaching a class. “It’s like teaching. Everyone is at a different level. And your job is to raise that level.”
“He pushes you and always tries to work with you individually,” team player Angelica Trinidad said. “He’s a smart coach and he’s a good teacher of the game.”
Turner teaches his players confidence, which he feels gets his athletes a better chance of playing.
“The more confident players could help the ones that are not so confident,” Turner said. “No one person can work by themselves.”
Turner believes basketball is a game of teamwork and he tries passing that onto his players as well.
He thinks teamwork helps players achieve victory in the games. “You never do everything yourself. It takes a lot of plays that gets one shot,” Turner said.
Through his training, Turner tries to give players inner strength. “Its a matter of will. We’re going to match strength with strength and let weakness go to hell,” Turner said.
Turner enjoys working with his players. “I like working with the kids,” Turner said.
“He lets us play and allows us to show off our game and show him what we can do,” student Olivia Ochoa said. “He brings out my competitive side. I could go for it whenever he’s coaching.”
Many of Turner’s students and players get the inner-strength that he helps them build. “He wants me to be aggressive and to be more competitive,” Ochoa said.
Turner also gives class training in addition to the physical training. Turner tries to design plays for his players to accomplish for future games.
He also has his players watch NBA footage to help them in their training. Turner feels that the NBA games are a huge influence in his coaching style.
“It was right when I was doing volunteer work when I met him,” David Candelas, sports volunteer, said. “I’d asked him if he would be interested if I could get player-of-the-month sponsorships and he said yes.”
Candelas is very impressed with Turner’s coaching style. “He (Turner) covers a lot of basic stuff and shows different types of drills that players can learn during the season,” Candelas said.
Turner first came to California at age 4 with his family. He played many sports while in high school, including basketball, baseball and football.
He earned a scholarship to California State University, Los Angeles where he continued to played basketball. Turner also started his coaching career while at CSULA when he became an assistant coach.
He continued coaching through the Los Angeles Unified School District’s middle school system for 20 years, and where Turner learned the coaching skills he applies to his work at ELAC.
Turner feels that basketball has not only shaped his career, but his life as well.
“I use basketball as a vehicle through life. Had it not been for sports, I may have not gone to college,” Turner said.
Turner feels that giving his players positive reinforcement makes better great in games. “You got to be proactive, that’s the key. You want to be the aggressor.”