Mel Turpin

July 12, 2004
July 12, 2004

Table of Contents
July 12, 2004

Where Are They Now?

Mel Turpin

His career was filled with monster dunks and supersized meals.
But Mel Turpin wants to talk about a gigantic crush. In 1997
Turpin ran into Kerry Soper, his health teacher when he was a
senior at Lexington (Ky.) High in the late '70s. "All those old
feelings came back," says Turpin, 43, a star 6'11" center at
Kentucky before a disappointing five-year career in the NBA. He
asked Soper, nine years his senior, to go out. A year later he
asked her to marry him.

This is an article from the July 12, 2004 issue Original Layout

Now a security guard at a Nissan dealership in Lexington, Turpin,
at 350 pounds (90 over his NBA weight), is happy to weigh in on
the league's current big men. "Oliver Miller, that's a big
dude," he says of Minnesota's 315-pound center. "In my day, they
thought the big man was supposed to be thin. They didn't know too
much. It was medieval."


B/W PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIERCOLOR PHOTO: GREG FOSTER TIGHT SECURITY The player known as Dinner Bell keeps alarms fromringing at a car dealership.