According to a report by ESPN, Yeshiva University basketball star Ryan Turell is set to take his first step towards being in the National Basketball Association by forgoing his final year of college eligibility and entering the 2022 draft this summer.
Aspiring to become the first Orthodox Jewish player in the NBA, Turell told ESPN, “Being the first Orthodox Jew in the NBA would mean the world to me, and a dream come true, God willing. But, just as importantly, it would mean the world to others that never saw this as a possibility.”
The 6-foot-7 guard wears a yarmulke when he plays, and was the leading scorer in the NCAA across all divisions this season, averaging 27.1 points per game. He shot 59% overall, and an impressive 47% from the three-point range. That earned Turell his second consecutive Skyline Conference Player of the Year award and helped him lead the YU Maccabees to a 25-4 record, a second straight conference championship, and a No. 1 national DIII ranking.
My full intention is to play professional basketball next year,” Turell said. The NBA draft will be held on June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This being said, Turell’s chances in the draft are unclear. A total of 60 players are selected in two rounds — considerably fewer than in other professional sports leagues. ESPN currently projects that he will not be drafted.