In addition to his coaching
duties at Union University, Turner has served on the USA Basketball
Selection Committee. This committee selects players to represent the United
States in the World Games, Pan-Am Games, and other International events.
Turner also takes his knowledge of basketball to the national level by
serving on the NAIA All-American Committee and the NAIA Championship
Tournament Committee that organizes the men’s national basketball tournament
in Kansas City, Missouri. He also has served as the NAIA National Rater for
the TranSouth Conference.
Under the guidance of Turner,
summer basketball camps at Union University have continued to grow. Through
Turner’s hard work and dedication, Union averages over 1,500 boys and girls
during the camps.
Turner’s goal for the men’s
basketball program is more than concentrating on the score of a game. His
desire is to not only see that his players be a part of the best teams that
Union has ever had, but for those individuals to be the best people Union
has ever had.
He and wife, Sherrie, have two
daughters, Andrea and Alison, both students at Union.
David Niven, a 1996 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University,
begins his 11th season with the Bulldogs after spending
the 1996-97 season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Baptist. In his first
two seasons at Union, Niven served as a volunteer assistant coach, and then
became full-time in 1999. In 2003, Niven earned the position of associate head coach for the Union men's basketball program.
During his time at Union, Niven has assumed the
responsibility of coordinating the recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs. He
has recruited and signed numerous All-Americans, as well as, the 2002 NAIA
Player of the Year, but the statistic he is most proud of is the 27 players
that have graduated during his time as their academic advisor.
Niven spent his playing career at OBU and finished with a
four-year career record 121-24. In those four years, he played on teams that
were ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, advanced to the NAIA National Championship
game, and two Final Fours. He also became the first player to help lead the
Bison to four consecutive national tournaments. While at OBU in 1997, as
assistant coach for the Bison, Niven received his Master of Education degree
from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He received valuable coaching
experience as the Bison went 36-4 and made it to the 1997 NAIA National
Niven is married to the former Mandy Beth Wells of Sallisaw,
Oklahoma. Niven and his wife are the proud parents of their first child,
Jacob, born June 8, 2006. The Niven's are also expecting their second
Chima Abakwue is in his third season with the Union coaching
staff. He graduated in August of 2007 with a Master's of Arts and
Education degree and teaching licenses from Union University. Abakwue,
of Cedar Hill, Texas, was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs from 2001-04.
During the season between his graduation and returning to
Union as a graduate assistant, Abakwue spent time with the Harlem
Ambassadors and also with the World Basketball Association’s Cleveland
While at Union, Abakwue set numerous three-point records. He
set the record for three pointers made in a season (134), three-pointers
made in a game (10), and three pointers made in a career (401). Over his
four years at Union, Abakwue scored 1,834 points and shot an amazing .405
(401-991) from behind the arc. He led the TranSouth Conference in three
pointers made in three of the four seasons he play for Union.
Abakwue earned several honors as well. He was named to the
TranSouth All-Conference team in 2002 and 2004, and the TranSouth
All-Freshman team in 2001. As a senior, Abakwue was named an NAIA
All-American in 2004.
In high school at Grace Prep Academy, Abakwue was the Dallas
area leading scorer and the private school player of the year. He averaged
26 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game. Abakwue
was named All-District and All-State his senior year.