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Turpin, Melvin Harrison
Birth Year : 1960
Death Year : 2010
Born in Lexington, KY, the 6'11" center, a high school All-State basketball player, was a star at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, from which he graduated in 1979. Turpin attended Fort Union Military Academy in Virginia for one year before enrolling at the University of Kentucky (UK). As a basketball player at UK, Turpin was 3rd Team All-SEC his sophomore year, and over the next two years he received additional recognition, including being named 1st Team All-SEC, All Regional NCAA, and All-American. Turpin played in 123 games, scoring a total of 1,509 points and blocking 226 shots. He had a game high 42 points against both Tennessee in 1983 and Georgia in 1984. As of 2007, Turpin is the last basketball player from Lexington to play for four years on a scholarship at UK. He was drafted sixth by the Washington Bullets [now the Washington Wizards] in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft. He played 361 games for three different NBA teams, scoring a total of 3,071 points and blocking 348 shots. Turpin retired from the NBA in 1990. For more see Melvin Turpin, a Big Blue History website; Mel Turpin at databaseBasketball.com; M. Story, "No Cats like those Cats - city no longer producing UK players, but why? A story for every county," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/29/2007, Sports section, p. D2; and K. Ward and J. Kegley, "Turpin mourners remember him at his happiest," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/13/2010, Main News section, p.A1.
See photo image of Melvin Turpin and his mother in Explore UK.
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky