Brunch, dates, ashanga and homelessness. Myles Turner, 23-year-old center for the Indiana Pacers, called us (video here) to talk about things he doesn’t usually get asked in interviews: his love for Indianapolis, its local businesses and the people that keep it vibrant. When asked to describe the Indianapolis audience, he quickly labeled them as both passionate and uplifting.
“The fans here are super passionate about basketball. Basketball runs big and deep in everyone’s blood here. That’s cool to be around. As a basketball player to be shown that kind of love… that’s big-time.” – Turner
Not only is he being shown that love, but he’s also showing it right back to the people around him. Yes, he’s a nice guy, but it goes beyond that. A few years ago, he started his own program, the WARM Program, to bring warmth and necessities to those out on the streets.
“When I first got here (Indianapolis), I wanted to find a way to integrate myself in the community. The first shot I had at doing that was through WARM. It stands for We All Really Matter. It started in Texas one day when it was cold and we were driving around and saw a lot of people suffering. My mom had always kept blankets and food in her car, so we went out one day and started handing them out to people. I told myself if I ever made it big one day, I’d start something like that. The community has really taken to it.”
If you’re like us, your next question was, “How can we get involved?” Myles answers with: “I encourage people to just do what I do. Put your own packages together and do it on your own. I’m just telling you to go out there and do it.”
Now for the personal stuff.
With such an intense basketball and travel schedule, it’s a wonder that he can explore the city too. We kicked off our local rapidfire questions by asking where his last meal in Indianapolis would be Answer? “Vito Provolone’s. It’s a mom-and-pop space in Greenwood that not a lot of people know about. We had a community event there during my rookie year and it was amazing. Get the chicken tortellini – half alfredo and half marinara.” Okay, we’re sold!
Next we asked where’d he take someone on a dream Indy date. “I don’t have time to date!,” he says with a laugh. “If I did though, I like being outdoors, so I’d probably go to Geist Lake and kick it on the water. We’d get dinner on the boat.” Now accepting applications?
It was a joy to talk to this highly-sought-after player, and we ended the call with a few hard-hitters:
- Favorite unique workout: Ashanga yoga. “You do a lot of inversions on the trapeze. It’s really good on your back. I’ve been to Invoke Yoga, which invites you to meet a bunch of interesting people. It’s so much better not doing it on your own.”
- Favorite fancy restaurant: St. Elmo Steak House
- Favorite local bite: Ralph’s Great Divide. “It’s one of my favorite spots. Not many people know about it, but they have a really good baked-potato soup and turkey sandwich. It’s off the chain.”
- Favorite local coffee: Milktooth
- Favorite local activity: Eagle Creek. “I’d go up there and run or kayak.”
And just like that, we’re huge Turner fans and can’t wait to watch our, now-friend, play in this upcoming season, kicking off on October 4th. Until then, find new local spots on the Yelp app and check out the @YelpIndy Instagram to see a video Myles sent our way.