Aurielle Turner was selected The Daily Home Player of the Week after leading Sylacauga’s girls basketball team to a season-opening win.
“I am excited, it feels good,” Turner said. “It is like a fresh start me since the procedure and stuff. I am going to continue to work hard and take everything day by day. I am going to continue to work, that’s all that I can do.”
Playing basketball wasn’t promised to Turner just less than a month ago.
Turner suffered from a heart condition known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). SVT is defined as an abnormally fast heartbeat. It's a broad term that includes many forms of heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) that originate above the ventricles (supraventricular) in the atria or AV node, according to mayoclinic.org.
For Turner, SVT made her heart rate go up to 200 beats per minute and made her feel sluggish, have headaches and make her nauseous.
Turner had a procedure to fix her heart condition two or three weeks ago, and the senior forward can tell a difference. She is thankful to still be alive and that she still plays sports.
“I am like a normal kid now. I can go 110 percent without feeling any discomfort from my heart,” Turner said. “That is pushing me to go 10 times harder because I don’t have any excuse.
“Last year, I feel like I was going 90 (percent). I would still play hard, but in my head, I was thinking I hope I don’t have an episode. Nothing is holding me back now. The doctors said I was cleared, that they got everything and I should be fine for the rest of my life.”
Turner had a huge performance in Sylacauga’s 54-40 win over Coosa Central last Thursday night. The senior closed with 25 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and four assists in limited action.
“We were running plays correctly,” Turner said. “We would bang it, and I would come over there and they wouldn’t guard me, so I would shoot the ball. I was just thinking that my teammates are helping get me to the spots where I need to go and setting screens. Everything worked out itself.”
Sylacauga head coach Derrick Crawford said he was proud of the way Turner played in the season opener.
“If she continues to do that, I am going to manage her minutes all year,” Crawford said. “It is a blessing that she is healed. The doctors gave her a clean bill of health, but I want to be on the safe side. I would rather be safe than sorry.”
Last season, Sylacauga won the area tournament and fell in the sub-regionals. This season, Turner and the Lady Aggies hope to take the next step and get back to regionals.
“We want to accomplish being patient and letting everything come to us,” Turner said. “We want to at least make it to (regionals in) Montgomery. We know that we can make it to Montgomery.”
Turner said she looks up to two of the best girls basketball players ever at Sylacauga.
“My role models from the past teams are Tierra Dark and Shakayla Thomas,” Turner said. “Shakayla comes back to the gym sometimes and helps out and stuff. She taught me some post moves, and I use them in the game.”