Sheri Turnbull was a basketball standout at the University of Vermont who finished her decorated collegiate career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Turnbull played professional basketball in Europe and briefly represented Canada in international play.
Turnbull was born on March 1, 1971 in Windsor.
She attended J. L. Forster Secondary School between 1985 and ’90, during which time she competed for the school in basketball, cross-country, track and field, and volleyball. In her freshman year, Turnbull won both the WSSAA and SWOSSAA cross-country championships.
She won the WSSAA and SWOSSAA Basketball and Volleyball Championships in both 1989 and ’90 during what were golden years for girls’ sports at Forster. Her basketball teams also performed well at the OFSAA All-Ontario Championship, taking home bronze in ’89 and silver in ’90. In 1990, her senior year, Turnbull won the Royal Arcanum Award, given annually to WSSAA’s top female athlete.
The University of Vermont offered Turnbull a basketball scholarship in 1990, which she accepted. She represented the Catamounts for four years between ’90 and ’94, leading the school to three NCAA Tournament appearances. During Turnbull’s years at the school, the Catamounts were America East Tournament Champions three times and won two America East regular season titles. In her debut season, she was named American East Conference Freshman of the Year.
Over the course of her collegiate career, Turnbull was a three time Honourable Mention Kodak All-American. She won the America East Player of the Year award in both 1993 and ’94 and was voted to the First-Team All-Conference on three occasions.
Turnbull graduated in 1994 with a degree in engineering as the Catamounts’ all-time leading scorer (2,108 points) and rebounder (1,056). At the time of her induction, the latter record still stood. In her graduation year, Sheri won the Semans Trophy, which is given annually to the UVM student-athlete who best demonstrates outstanding leadership, loyalty, and service to the university. She also received the J. Edward Donnelly Award, which is presented to the school’s top athlete.
After graduation, Turnbull played professional basketball in Turkey and Portugal. She spent 1996 as a member of the Canadian National Basketball Team and was an alternate for the ’96 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Turnbull returned to the state of Vermont in 2000 to work as the head girls’ basketball coach at Colchester High School. She returned to the Catamounts as a part-time assistant coach for the ’03-04 season.
The Catamounts retired Turnbull’s number-30 jersey during the 2002-03 season. The University had never before so honoured a women’s basketball player.
Turnbull was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the University of Vermont Athletics Hall of Fame in ’04.