Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – They may be playing for different NBA teams but Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner will forever be bonded by their ties with Ohio State University.
Jared’s older brother JJ, who graduated the previous year, took Turner under his wings to help him adjust to college life when he joined the Buckeyes in 2007.
Turner returned the favor by acting as big brother to Jared, who was then a star at Northland High School.
“I was always in Columbus, so I would always go to his game, hang out with the Sully’s. They were like family,” Turner said before Sunday’s Celtics-Sixers preseason game. “I would go to Jared’s games, pick him up, go to the movies back in high school.”
While watching Jared play high school ball, Turner noticed he had a strong physical presence and an even stronger knowledge of the game.
“One thing I’ve always said about Jared is, he’s smart,” said Turner. “His IQ is unreal. He was so far ahead of all the big men due to the simple fact that he just knew how to play and use his body.”
Turner further noticed Jared’s skills when the latter joined a group of Ohio State players and alumni for a game over the summer.
“I saw him go up against Greg Oden when he was 16 or 17,” Turner recalled. “He was destroying Greg Oden, holding his own against him because he knew how to play.”
Turner was picked second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2010 NBA Draft but he left the Buckeyes in good hands by bringing in Jared to the team.
“I told them Jared’s going to come in and average 18 and 10, and he did,” said Turner. “I already knew he was going to be a big talent player.”
After playing for two years with the Buckeyes, Jared was selected 21st overall by the Boston Celtics.
The two friends have faced each other twice in the preseason and Turner said nothing changed about Sullinger.
“One thing smart about him is, he’s still the same person,” said Turner. “People try to go to the league and change their game. He knows how to rebound, he knows how to play, and he’s humble enough to take orders and take advice from the veterans that he has.”
From what he’s seen, Turner expects Sullinger to make his mark this year.