Berea College’s Mikah Turner leads the nation in scoring average
Berea College’s senior forward Mikah Turner, from Maysville, Ky., has the highest scoring average in the nation. His average of 27.7 points per game is the highest in all divisions of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). Turner’s scoring average would top the NCAA statistics as well, but Berea College competes in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) at the NAIA Division II level.
The 6’3” small forward has scored 2,061 career points. Turner surpassed the 2,000 point mark by scoring 35 against Indiana University East on February 12. He has scored in double digits in every game this season and has scored at least 30 points in 14 games this season. His highest career scoring output was 45 points against OSU-Mansfield this season. Turner, a four-time KIAC player of the week and one-time national NAIA player of the week this season, has led the Mountaineers (18-9) to a third place regular-season standing in the KIAC.
“I’m not sure that it has fully hit me yet, but it is an achievement knowing that I am number one in the nation out of a list of many other tremendous athletes in any category,” says Turner, an industrial technology management major. “It is surprising seeing my name beside such a statistic because my role has completely changed on the basketball court from what it was several years ago when I was in high school.” At Mason County High School, Turner was an inside presence who played alongside sharp-shooter Chris Lofton, who played at the University of Tennessee, and Darius Miller, a sophomore guard who plays for the University of Kentucky.
Turner shoots 55 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 66 percent from the free-throw line. Turner also leads the team in rebounding, averaging more than eight per game.
“He was an interior player in high school, so I told him specific things he needed to improve on before he got to campus because I was moving him to the perimeter,” says Coach John Mills. “Mikah is the team leader. He sets the tone for practice and game preparation for the rest of the team.”
The Mountaineers have two conference games remaining this season. On February 16, Berea travels to Asbury College. On February 18, Berea hosts conference-leader and defending conference tournament champion Indiana University Southeast at 7:30 p.m. in the Seabury Center. Berea will host a first-round KIAC Conference game on February 23. The remainder of the tournament will be held in Frankfort, February 26-27. The winner advances to the national tournament at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, March 10-16.
Berea, the South’s first interracial and coeducational college, focuses on learning, labor and service. Berea charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. All students must work 10 hours weekly, earning money for their books, room and board. Graduates from Berea distinguish themselves and the college in many fields, including science, arts, education, government and social services.