While most new Timberwolves players are introduced to the media somewhere within the confines of the Target Center, Turiaf will greet Twin Cities reporters Wednesday from the Ronald McDonald House. Surrounded by children staying at the residence, he’ll kick off a full day of community outreach — his first official act since the team signed him as a free agent this offseason.
This is just what the 6-foot-10, 249-pound journeyman center does.
A native of Martinique, Turiaf has spent his eight years in the NBA developing a reputation as a standout citizen. In addition to establishing his own foundation to promote heart health awareness, he’s been involved with nonprofits that assist impoverished children in Africa and several other health awareness initiatives. He received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award in 2010.
But Turiaf’s not simply a good-guy, locker-room figurehead.
He’s played in two NBA Finals, winning a championship with Miami in 2012, and provides a bundle of energy coming off the bench. Contributing primarily on defense, he averages 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for his career.
Turiaf’s size, aggression, and rap as a good teammate and ambassador were all attractive to the Timberwolves this offseason. An unrestricted free agent after a year with the Clippers, he inked for $3.2 million over the next two seasons.
Not long after, he started planning to make his first splash Wednesday.
After chatting with Twin Cities reporters for the first time, Turiaf will talk and shoot baskets with children staying at the McDonald House, which provides lodging for families while their kids are in the hospital. He’ll then speak at Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul before hosting an advanced movie screening in St. Louis Park.