Turner and Artie Taylor, a former Arkansas State basketball player, each played under legendary coach Bob Nika. But Illini fans will find interest with assistant Richard McBride, who played on Illinois' 2005 national runner up team.
"These guys know me and they've seen me play," said McBride, who played with Andre Iguodala on Lanphier's 2002 runner-up team. "To come back, it is a great honor and I just cherish it and I love it."
McBride, and Turner for that matter, have all spoken with new Illini basketball coach John Groce. The former Ohio coach has kept his eye on Larry Austin Jr., Lanphier's star guard. Austin Jr. received an offer from Groce in October.
"Wherever Larry goes, he has a great list," said McBride, who noted he was going to let Austin Jr. make his own decision. "Wherever he goes, they are going to get a great kid. He is a hard worker and he is a great talent."
""It's great having him in here because he went to state (with Lanphier) and they got second," the Lanphier junior said. "Just having him here is just great. We all look up to him."
McBride and his fellow coaches have all played basketball after their Lanphier days. With a squad eager to become the school's first team with back to back state tournament trips, the coaches know they have the credentials to guide this team.
"I think we definitely have their attention," Turner said. "The kids know Coach McBride played high major, division-one basketball. Coach Taylor played big time basketball. I was blessed to go to Japan and play basketball for a season. So we bring all that up. And these kids they realize that we know what we're talking about."
The coaches have all kept in contact over the years. Despite the age difference, the alums have all told each other they would love to help a fellow graduate out if they got a head coaching job. For instance, McBride knew Turner and Taylor while he was a player in 2002.
"To be on this staff is an honor and it has been fun so far." McBride said.