Ronny Turiaf was born on January 13, 1983 in Fort de France to parents Georges Louis Turiaf and Aline Cesar. Ronny is the oldest of four with three younger sisters, Elodie, Florence and Rachelle. He speaks five languages including French, English, Spanish, Italian and his native Creole. In 1998, when he was 15 years old, he left his home on Martinique for Paris, France where he attended the INSEP (National Institute of Physical Education), a school that combines rigorous secondary education with elite level athletic training. In 1999 he made the French Under 18 National Team, and a year later helped lead the team to the European title along with future NBA stars Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Mickael Pietrus.
In 2001, Ronny left France and headed to the United States where he attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He went on to play four years of basketball and graduated with a degree in Sports Management and Communication. During his collegiate career, Ronny was named First Team All-West Coast Conference, and in his senior year, he was named the WCC Player of the Year. That same year he also earned Honorable Mention All-American honors from the Associated Press and was a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards. He ended his college career as the fourth all-time leading scorer (1,723) and rebounder (859) in school history. He also ranked second in blocks (179) and is Gonzaga’s all-time leader in free throws made (643).
During the 2005 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Ronny with the 37th overall pick, signing him to a two year, $1 million contract. But after a physical exam found an enlarged aortic root in his heart, a potential life-threatening condition, Ronny’s contract was voided. On July 26, 2005, Ronny underwent a successful six-hour open-heart surgery at Stanford Medical Center. His expected recovery time was between six months to a year. As a part of his rehabilitation, Ronny signed with the Continental Basketball Association’s Yakama Sun Kings. On January 17, 2006, less than six months after his surgery, he resigned with the Los Angeles Lakers. He made his NBA debut on February 8, 2006 at Houston and appeared in 26 games for the remainder of the season including 3 playoff games. For the next two years Ronny was a valuable member of the Lakers organization, averaging 75 games and helping the Lakers advance to the 2007-08 NBA Finals where they fell to the Boston Celtics in six games.
During the summer of 2008, Ronny and the Golden State Warriors came to terms on a four-year, $17 million contract. With the deal being finalized on July 18, 2008, Ronny appeared in 79 games for the team during the 2008-09 season, averaging 5.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.13 blocks in just 21.5 minutes.
He started 26 of those games and it didn’t take long for Ronny to become a fan favorite with his high energy style of play and intensity. He finished the season ranked fourth in the NBA in blocks and established new career highs in games played, starts, minutes, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and free throw percentage.
Ronny became very active in the Bay Area community. Among his various contributions, each season Ronny purchased 25 tickets for every Warriors home game which he donated to various youth groups within the community. His ticket section at Oracle Arena was affectionately called, “Madidina’s Islanders” named for his native island of Martinique. In August of 2009, inspired by his own experience, Ronny started the Heart to Heart Foundation to spread heart health awareness and education to underprivileged children and families. The Foundation seeks to provide community classrooms with defibrillators and educational materials on the importance of heart health awareness as well as providing funding for early detection tests.
On July 9th, 2010, Ronny went on to play with the New York Knicks until he was traded to the Washington Wizards on December 10th 2011. He appeared in four games with Washington this season totaling six points, 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and three blocks in 58 minutes of action while shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from the field. Ronny has appeared in 30 postseason career games (four starts) and averaged 3.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 11.2 minutes while shooting 44.8 percent from the field.
After having broken his hand during the 2011 European Championships, fans eagerly awaited Ronny’s comeback to the game. Ronny joined the Miami Heat as of March 21st, 2012, and went on to win his first NBA championship with the team! Ronny has appeared in 362 career games (90 starts) and averaged 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.36 blocks and 17.9 minutes while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. Ronny finished among league leaders in blocks in three straight seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-2009.
Ronny went on to play with the France’s national team in the 2012 Olympics in London and signed to the Los Angeles Clippers on July 27th, 2012. He was part of the record-breaking team who took their first-ever Pacific Division Championship, with a 17-game winning streak and tallying up a franchise-record of 56 regular season wins.
Ronny signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves this July and is excited for another great season with a dynamic team.
Ronny’s passions continue to exist both on and off the court, as he remains committed to utilizing his NBA career to make an impact in his community and beyond.