Lamonte’ Turner told reporters that he has played his final game in a Tennessee uniform this afternoon and will undergo season-ending surgery in the coming days. Turner suffers from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a rare condition that occurs when blood vessels or nerves are compressed. It is an extremely painful condition which likely contributed to Turner’s decision to step away from basketball.
“It’s been hard, man. Really hard. I cried last night. I cried today. I’ll cry some more. It’s just hard,” Turner told the media in the post-game press conference. Turner’s teammate, Jordan Bowden, also told the media that it was tough on Turner, saying: “He just hasn’t been himself lately, I can tell you that.”
Turner’s career with the Vols will likely be remembered for his monumental shots in critical moments of games. It didn’t matter if he was red-hot or ice-cold if the game was a nail-biter that was coming down to the wire, Vol Fans wanted the ball in Lamonte’ Turner’s hands. He was clutch, something that you just can’t teach; either you have it or you don’t.
With Turner’s career at Tennessee over, the Vols could turn to Santiago Vescovi, from Europe, to help true freshman Josiah James run the point. It was originally thought that Vescovi would not play much this season, however, with Turner done, he may have no choice other than to jump right in.