Yeshiva University’s Ryan Turell will forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2022 NBA Draft, he told ESPN.
“My intention is to play professional basketball next year,” Turell said.
Turell is college basketball’s leading scorer in all divisions, averaging 27.1 points while shooting 47% from 3. His team won the Skyline Conference Championship, winning 50 straight games from November 2019 to December 2021 and being at one point ranked No. 1 in the Division III country.
Turell is trying to become the NBA’s first Orthodox Jewish player. He wears a yarmulke (a headgear worn by Orthodox Jewish men) on the basketball court when he plays, and he said he plans to continue doing so as a professional.
“Being the first Orthodox Jew in the NBA would mean the world to me, and a dream come true, God willing. But, just as important, it would mean the world to others who never saw it as a possibility. .”
Turell is a two-time conference player of the year and the leading scorer in Yeshiva history with over 2,000 points, despite having his sophomore and junior seasons cut short by COVID. Turell has been thoroughly scouted by NBA teams this season, with several owners, executives and former players attending games in New York to watch him in person.
“I know NBA teams have come to see me,” Turell said. “My coach would tell me after every game, especially towards the end of the season. A lot of NBA teams came to watch.”
Turell’s ability to make shots in a variety of situations at 6-foot-7, whether it’s running off screens, shooting in transition, or spacing the ground well past the 3-line NBA points, gives him a coveted niche he could potentially fill professionally. His 1.31 points per possession ranks him as the third most effective shooter in all of college basketball according to Synergy Sports Technology, including second for off-screen shooting.
Turell is not expected to be selected at the moment but could gain momentum during the pre-draft process in private team training or showcases like the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which indicates he is being considered to be invited. Scouts will look at his ability to continue scoring prolifically against taller and longer players as the level of competition increases, as well as defending on the defensive end.
“I want to walk into as many NBA gyms as possible and show them what I can do. I have to knock down shots and be a great defender and teammate.”