Tachlis (תכלית) is a Yiddish word that comes from Hebrew, where it means “end,” “entirety,” “ultimate” or “purpose.” (chabad.org)
A term used by Israelis, which is used when someone wants to quickly (and often very bluntly) get to the point. Tachlis is all about efficiency and getting to the best solution or the point as quickly as possible, without concern for feelings or flowery language. (urbandictionary.com)
Motor City Cruise Forward Ryan Turell had just arrived in Israel about 24 hours earlier. He had already been to basketball practice ahead of playing games against Arizona and Kansas State next week.
Nu?Detroit is on the ground in Tel Aviv to speak with Ryan in between his practice time and an evening visit to ANU Museum of the Jewish People.
One thing is immediately clear: Ryan is always aiming for the higher purpose — whether in Motown or the Holy Land. The 6'7" Los Angeles native traveled just a few days after being featured in “A G League Odyssey” which premiered on Amazon Prime on August 8. The video follows the “grit, grind, and hope” of three players as they vie to go from the G League to play in the NBA. Turell played for Detroit during his first year in the league — while living in Midtown Detroit — to pursue his dreams as a professional basketball player. If selected for the NBA, he’d be the first Orthodox Jewish player in league history.
The 24-year-old is known to be a mensch on and off the court — with a leadership style that values teamwork over intimidation; critical in a world that often prizes power and ego over values and kindness. He was a fierce standout during his years playing at Yeshiva University. Even in the early months of his season representing Detroit, he had a standout game; scoring 21 points against DC's Capital City Go-Go.
The Motor City Cruise said that anywhere the team played in Detroit and on the road, there were fans that arrived to cheer Ryan — particularly when he played near his hometown LA fans and his Yeshiva University supporters. Between the premiere of the documentary and his trip to Israel, he became engaged, which he describes as the highlight of his year.
Our interview — edited for length and clarity — is below.
How did your involvement come about to take part in the documentary?
The producer hit me up and said ‘hey, you have a very interesting story and we'd like to share it … Would you like to be part of the doc?’ And I thought it was a great idea. Because, you know it's a platform and a way to share a story. And I want to be able to inspire people, I want to be able to share my story with people and hopefully inspire people to, you know to do great things. I thought it was a good platform to do so.
What were your favorite aspects of living in Detroit?
One of my favorite aspects is the community support. I got a lot of fan support from people coming to games from all over the place. It was great to have that support system. That love is really nice and amazing and a blessing; it makes me want to work harder to try to achieve my goals in the NBA.
Reflecting on your first year here, what message would you have for your fans?
Be proud to be who you are; don't don't be afraid to be proud of who you are. And don't let where you come from hold you back in line. Doesn't matter what you believe in or where you come from. As long as you put in the work, you can achieve your dreams and goals.
Any particularly unique connections or experiences during your time in Michigan?
It was awesome to meet people throughout the community. (which included as a guest at Friday night dinners and also at the annual Yeshiva Beth Yehudah Dinner).
What was it like to be a keynote Lamplighter at Detroit's Community Hanukkah Festival?
That was definitely one of the highlights of the year. It was really cold that night, but it was a true honor. To be able to do that. I think it's a really cool tradition. And it was really fun to do. It was awesome.
It was a nice recognition that other Pistons executives like Arn Tellem have had as well…
Yeah, absolutely. Love Arn. He's a great guy. Really good friend. I got to know him well this past year and he’s just a really excellent leader.
What was the biggest takeaway of being a headline speaker at the BBYO Annual Gathering?
It was amazing to have so many Jews from all across the world. I think it was a really incredible event; just awesome. It was just really cool. And I think we need to have more events like this where Jewish kids can be proud of who they are. And they connect with other Jewish kids even if they live in places where there are few others like them. So it's just a really cool atmosphere. It's something that I've never seen before. And something that I was really proud to be a part of.
You mentioned your dream of playing in Israel? What timeline might you foresee that happening?
I am focused on being in the NBA as long as possible. But it's always been a dream of mine. It's something that I've always wanted to do, and it's something that I'm excited to do at the right time.
The documentary talks about your ability to keep kosher during the season. Would that be much harder in the NBA?
I actually think it would be harder in the G league than it would be in the NBA. The cities where I was in the G league are, I’d think, a lot harder to get kosher food. I wouldn’t be worried about making it possible if I made it in the NBA.
Have you faced anti-semitism as an Orthodox Jewish athlete?
Growing up there have been occurrences; and in college, there were occurrences, but in the G League, there have been no anti-semitic occurrences.
With the high holidays around the corner, what are your hopes for the Jewish people in the New Year?
Jewish pride. I think we're in a time in the world where it’s incredibly important to fight anti-Semitism and to be proud of who you are.
About Destination NBA: A G League Odyssey
Destination NBA: A G League Odyssey is a character-driven documentary that follows some of the most intriguing prospects in the NBA’s developmental league, the NBA G League, as they compete to earn the ultimate reward of an NBA roster spot. As the 2022-23 season unfolds, a unique group of athletes from diverse backgrounds take you on a journey to passionate basketball locales, including Las Vegas, Mexico City, Detroit, Maine, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, as they navigate the highs and lows of chasing their shared dream of reaching the pinnacle of professional basketball.
This compelling and visceral first-person narrative features an ensemble cast that includes a top draft prospect (Scoot Henderson), an NBA veteran looking for a second chance (Denzel Valentine), a cultural icon aiming to make history (Ryan Turell), and former-G-League-stars-turned-success-stories Seth Curry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Gary Payton II, and Jalen Green. Together, they inhabit all corners of a diverse ecosystem — an ultra-competitive proving ground, where the margins are razor thin, and only some dreams are realized. No guarantees. No shortcuts. No clear path. Just grit, grind, and hope. This is life in the G. (Source: Amazon Studios)