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Ronny Turiaf (born January 13, 1983 in Le Robert, Martinique) is a French basketball player, selected in the second round (37th pick overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He primarily plays power forward. His first name is pronounced as rhyming with pony.

Turiaf spent most of his childhood in Martinique, moving at age 15 to Paris to attend Insep (National Institute of Physical Education), which combines secondary school with elite-level athletic training. By 1999, he had made the French under-18 national team, and in 2000 he and future NBA stars Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Mickael Pietrus helped lead France to the European under-18 championship.

In 2001, he left France to attend Gonzaga University, playing four years. In his last three years at Gonzaga, he was named a first-team All-West Coast Conference player, and was the conference's Player of the Year in his senior year (2004-05). For his career at Gonzaga, he averaged 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, averaging 15.9 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior.

After being drafted, Turiaf signed his rookie contract with the Lakers. Then, while preparing to play with the Lakers' summer league team in 2005, he underwent a physical which uncovered a heart-related problem; a more comprehensive exam found an enlarged aortic root, known as aneurysm of sinus of Valsalva. As a result of the condition, Turiaf's contract with the Lakers was voided. However, given the doctors' prognosis that successful surgery should be able to correct the problem and allow Turiaf to recover fully and return to a baksetball career, the team decided to pay for his surgery and retain him as part of the Laker organization.

Turiaf underwent open-heart surgery on July 26, 2005. He was initially expected to miss the entire 2005-06 NBA season and to work toward joining the Lakers for the 2006-07 campaign. However, he recovered quickly and just six months after his surgery, he signed a new contract with the Lakers, forgoing an opportunity to play in Spain for more money.

Known for his sideline antics, Turiaf has been given what head coach Phil Jackson calls "a new lease on life."

See also[]

  • List of French NBA players

External links[]

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fr:Ronny Turiaf

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