Turner on His Charitable Efforts

February 20, 2021 - Myles Turner discusses how he's helping those in need in Texas.

Turner Charity

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Turner on His Charitable Efforts

February 20, 2021 - Myles Turner discusses how he's helping those in need in Texas.
Feb 20, 2021  |  03:01

Taking Advantage of Extra Practice Time

February 20, 2021 - Myles Turner and Nate Bjorkgren discuss the benefits of having more time off than usual between games.
Feb 20, 2021  |  02:34

Turner Turns Venmo Trolling Into Fundraising for Those Impacted by Texas Winter Storms

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

An unexpected exchange between Pacers center Myles Turner and a fan on Venmo has turned into a huge push to raise funds to help families impacted by the winter storms in his native state of Texas.

It all started on Monday night, when the Pacers fell in overtime to the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. After the loss, one fan found Turner on the mobile payment app Venmo and requested $100 from the sixth-year center. Like all professional athletes, Turner had seen fans "troll" him before on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but Venmo was a new one.

He chuckled at the request and shrugged it off. But then the fan sent him another request, and then another. After the third time, Turner decided to play along, sending the fan one cent with the message "Here's a penny for your thoughts" on Thursday night.

The fan then shared the transaction on Twitter later that evening and Turner retweeted him on Friday morning. It was an amusing exchange, but that's when things took an unexpected turn.

As Turner's retweet went viral, other fans started sending him money on Venmo, often a penny or two. Before he knew it, his phone was going off constantly as payments rolled in.

"All those pennies and two cents in a matter of three or four hours added up to $230," Turner said Saturday. "Just like that. That's a lot of pennies. I was like, that's a lot of people that just got behind this...we decided that we could really take advantage of this (to help a good cause)."

Back in his home state of Texas, thousands of families were without power or water for much of the past week as a result of the severe winter weather that hit much of the country. Turner's parents in the Dallas area were fortunate enough to rely on a backup generator to get them through the freezing temperatures, but many others weren't so fortunate. The situation even forced the NBA to postpone the Pacers' game in Houston that was scheduled for Saturday.

So Turner shared that he would match any donations he received through the weekend and donate it all to helping families in Texas.

"It just kind of hit home to me because it was my people," Turner said. "It was people that are going through a lot. I've spent a lot of time in San Antonio, I obviously went to the University of Texas down in Austin, I have a lot of family in Houston. I know people are going through a lot and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help."

By the time he talked to the media in the early afternoon on Saturday, Turner had already raised over $12,000. He plans to continue accepting donations through Sunday night.

Anyone who wants to contribute can do so on Venmo by donating to @Original_Turner.

UPDATE

After this story was posted, Turner announced that the NBPA would also match any money donated. On Monday morning, he revealed that fans had donated $25,395.86. With matches by both him and the NBPA, a total of $76,187.58 was raised.

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