KANKAKEE – Kankakee Community College (KCC) announced Monday part-time police officer Vernal Turner, who has been with KCC since 2015, has been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Turner has been an official at NBA training camps for both the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls and has sidelined as a basketball official for the past 17 years. During those years Turner has worked for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), currently officiating games for the Northern Athletic Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. In 2019, he became a courtside administrator, working for the NBA.
Among the noteworthy high school games, he has officiated are seven Chicago city championships; three IHSA boys basketball championships (3-A in 2013, 4-A in 2014, and 3-A and 4-A in 2019); and the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2016. He will be the first person to have played in IBCA All-Star Game (1981), officiate the IBCA All-Star Game (2016), and be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.
In all, there will be more than 100 new IBCA Hall of Fame members, including nine officials. Due to COVID-19, the IBCA has not finalized its plans for an induction ceremony.
Turner also is president of Top Notch Officiating Camp for Officials Training and Development. In 2019 and 2020, he organized the Top Notch Health Awareness Challenge at KCC. The event pitted Kankakee-area high school basketball teams playing teams from Chicago. Each team also participated in health awareness sessions.