Morea Turner is a future sports personality, experienced broadcaster, and retired athlete. Like many retired athletes, after their careers have concluded they often feel the need to exert that bottled-up energy and passion elsewhere. Turner’s newfound passion and love came within the game of sports, however just on the opposing end. Instead of being interviewed, she began interviewing and covering games herself and eventually became a broadcaster.
Who is Morea Turner?
The California native was born in Orange County, just 45 minutes out of Los Angeles. Since she can remember, Turner’s been surrounded by sports, specifically basketball. Her older brother, Ryan Mitchell, played basketball since she can walk, however, she found no interest in playing basketball. In fact, Turner would rather cheer and dance and support the sport rather than participate in the sport herself.
When Turner was eight, she expressed to her mom that she wanted a purple tutu. It’s safe to say, she had no desire on stepping on any field other than to dance and perform. However, do not mistake this for a lack of competitiveness on Turner’s end. Being from California, she was so competitive she secured a dancing scholarship to compete at nationals from several SEC universities like Alabama University, and Louisiana State University (LSU).
Ultimately, Turner chose to take her talents to Alabama University.
What drew Turner’s Attention to Alabama?
Naturally, Turner didn’t know much about Bama though she was from the other side of the country. However, during her official visit, she fell in love with the atmosphere and the people at the University. From that point, she decided she was attending and dedicating all four years to the University.
At the University, she cheered on the “Spirit Squad” all four years while also sideline reporting for Alabama. Prior to reporting for the Crimson Tide, she began her collegiate career wanting to be a meteorologist. However, due to the difficulty of classes, she soon realized this path wasn’t indeed for her. Instead, she spoke with her guidance counselor and he recommended she try communication and public speaking. Not long after, she began pursuing the major and began getting involved with the Crimson Tide media team. Although cheerleading was extremely demanding she still managed to find time to report. One would agree, that balancing her sports, school and, media responsibilities is very impressive.
Naturally, many questioned where this transition stemmed from cheerleading to broadcasting came from, however the response of Turner was even more surprising.
“I always loved sports since I was a little girl,” Turner admits. “However, I never saw myself as a broadcaster, however I switched my majors and was gifted at speaking. Most importantly, I found my niche and fell in love with sports media from there.”
Turner’s Transition from College to the Pros
Initially, Turner began her professional career as a cheerleader and dancer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Just a year later, she advanced her career and began dancing with the Detroit Pistons in 2019. This grew to be exhausting mentally and emotionally for Turner, ultimately forcing her to want to find some more fulfillment in her career.
Eventually, she expressed her passion and hunger for broadcasting to her coach. Ironically, as she was scheduled to leave Detroit a mysterious snowstorm struck and delayed all flights going in and out of Detroit. With that being said, Turner was stuck in Detroit and decided to participate in a charity event the Pistons were asked to be a part of. The leader of this charity happens to be then Fox Detroit Sports reporter Mickey York. Later, York took the entire team out to eat and gave Turner an opportunity to sit down and discuss her future aspirations. Shortly after, she was offered a production assistant job at Fox Sports Detroit.
“It truly was God’s plan,” Turner emphasized. “My coach introduced me to him and wanted to sit down and chat with Mickey York. Eventually, he sat down with me and heard me out and responded by saying “okay” to letting me work with Fox Sports in Detroit.”
This was the birth of Morea Turner’s professional career.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love my job? #MFFL pic.twitter.com/dxh4Cprpu3— Raya Turner (@rayagurl77) December 30, 2022
The Grass isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side
As Turner's unorthodox journey continues, just like anything else in life she often faces adversity. Although Turner’s pursuing something she admires and loves to do she’s still a minority in this line of work. Times are progressing, however there aren’t as many women in sports media as there are men. Oftentimes, Turner finds herself attempting to make people believe in her or take her seriously.
Originally, being a dancer and then turned broadcaster, many didn’t believe in her capabilities. In fact, she expressed a time she shocked a few gentlemen in the break room simply because she was following the game of basketball and was just as excited as they were.
“One day, I went into the break room for a cup of coffee and I was accompanied by these two gentlemen,” Turner stated. “I believe the Houston Rockets were playing, anyways a big play in the game occurred and I displayed excitement and the gentlemen asked me, “you follow basketball?”
“Naturally, I was disappointed but I held my composure and went back to watching the game,” Turner continued.
After years of experience, she began seeing the recognition and gaining the respect she felt he deserved initially.
Luka Doncic thoughts on 7 game winning streak-“defensively we are better, and we have been doing our job.” pic.twitter.com/JifKcIlp7s— Raya Turner (@rayagurl77) January 4, 2023
Turner’s “Sh3GotGame Moment”
Oftentimes, many people have a complex named fraud syndrome. Meaning, tons of people don’t believe in themselves and often question whether they belong or not. At Sh3Gotgame, every feature has a moment within their careers that they understand they do belong and their confidence begins to grow. Turner’s “Sh3GotGame Moment” took place after one of the biggest failures in her career.
Earlier in her career, Turner was assigned the Rose Bowl between Alabama and Notre Dame. She admits, that she wasn’t very prepared and on-air showed up and was completely embarrassed. However, she vowed to never allow that to happen again and made it her mission for the next event to be better. During the next event, Turner covered the local soccer team and had the performance of her life. She felt comfortable and was much more equipped this time around.
“I will say as a reporter my Sh3gotgame moment was my second in-game reporting opportunity ever,” Turned emphasized. “The first in-game reporting [Rose Bowl] was my biggest flop and embarrassing moment ever. However, the second went so well and I felt I really prepped and was excited.”
Turner began studying a lot of ESPN's host and reporter Laura Rutledge’s footage. In fact, still to this day, she often looks at Rutledge as the standard and this helps gauges her performances. Not to mention, Turner finds a lot of similarities within their stories. Rutledge was Miss Florida, prior to becoming one of the best reporters in the world.
In conclusion, life will throw curveballs at you, however never give up, and always follow your dreams. Nobody may know how one will reach their destination, yet that doesn’t mean one will never reach it. When asked if there was any advice Turner would like to offer to any young aspiring broadcasters and journalists out there, she responded:
“ No matter what don’t give up! Don’t be discouraged or afraid to hear a million ‘no’s’ because it only takes one ‘yes’ to change your life. My best advice would be to always make you happy because the money will come. Most importantly, don’t compare career paths among your peers.”