Blues sharpshooter shines on and off the court
Jessica Lio // Opinions Editor
“I want to be able to shoot like that.”
As a young girl, that’s what Capilano Blues women’s basketball team shooting guard Sherrie Errico thought as she watched her older sister Michelle on the basketball court.
Errico had played soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball throughout her childhood, but her sister played basketball and she was determined to be as good, if not better, than her. By Grade 9, Errico was playing as a starter on the senior team at Windsor Secondary School, and by Grade 10 she was the captain and one of the most experienced shooters on the team.
“I was never very confident in myself in basketball,” Errico admitted. She dreaded tryouts throughout high school, and would get so nervous at times that she almost talked herself out of going to some of them. But her mother would always encourage her, reminding her that she was talented and that she would be fine. It wasn’t until she made the U16 BC provincial team and began hearing positive feedback from university coaches who were watching her that she began to realize her potential.
Even though she did well in school, Errico’s focus was always on basketball. When she was admitted to the University of Victoria (UVic), she was excited to compete at the collegiate level. All the days she spent practicing with Michelle as a kid had finally paid off. She had made three close friends on the team and living on campus was going great. However, she was pushing herself to keep up with her new team and she neglected to get her shin splints treated.
Only three games into her first season, Errico discovered that she had a stress fracture in her leg. The injury put her on the bench for the rest of the season, leaving her discouraged, in pain and frustrated. With the higher level of intensity that training required at UVic and the lack of access to familiar doctors, Errico decided to move back to North Vancouver. She had always wondered what it would be like to play with Michelle, and this was the perfect opportunity for her to find out. Errico packed her bags and said goodbye to her friends and teammates. Despite only having played three games, she’d lost the entire year of playing eligibility.
After transferring to Capilano University, Errico quickly became one of the team’s leading scorers, but the injury hasn’t been easy to live with. A bone scan of her leg showed that she has developed periostitis, a condition where the tissue surrounding a bone becomes infected and inflamed. She recently began Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) therapy, and although it’s been a painful healing process, she’s more concerned with being able to play. At times, Errico still misses the intensity of playing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) [now known as USports] and UVic’s campus environment, but she recalls being very shy and quiet during her year on the Island.
“When I came back, I felt more comfortable in my surroundings. I wasn’t afraid to speak and help people out,” Errico said. She has been able to connect and build close relationships with every one of her teammates here. “We all know how to work together. We all know how to be there for each other.”
Part of why she’s settled in to the Blues athletics community so well was being able to play alongside her sister Michelle who was already admired and respected as an athlete on campus. Michelle graduated from CapU last year, but not before claiming the title of Blues women’s basketball all-time leading scorer.
“Michelle definitely pushed me to be better. We would guard each other in practice and I’d always want to beat her but she’d always one-up me,” Errico recalled with a soft chuckle. Michelle’s influence not only pushed her to be a stronger player but it gave her the confidence to develop her leadership skills.
Like so many other siblings, Errico and her older sister don’t always get along. Their relationship is no fairytale, but basketball always managed to bring the two together.
“When I came to Cap and played with her, our relationship got so much better. We would fight sometimes at home, but once we got to the court, everything was dropped,” she said. The Errico sisters could always find each other on the court, and their dynamic helped propel the Blues all the way to the provincial championships last year. Ultimately, they were defeated by the Vancouver Island University Mariners, but Errico looks back on the experience fondly nonetheless.
“It was the best experience I’ve had playing basketball,” Errico recalled without a hint of regret. “I loved it. I almost wish we’d had two years together.”
Even though her older sister is no longer playing with the Blues, Errico has taken strides to become a powerhouse in her own right. The young shooting guard loves to sink three-point shots, but she won’t hesitate to free herself up so her teammates have a chance to shine on the court.
“[Sherrie] understands when she needs to be vocal and when she needs to sit back and listen to her teammates,” said Ramin Sadaghiani, Blues women’s basketball head coach, describing her as an unselfish leader with great “basketball IQ” and character. He commended her skills as a shooter and her commitment to improving her game. “Compared to last year, she has made huge improvements, especially with her on-ball defence.”
On the academic field, Errico seems to have it all figured out. She recently switched her academic focus from general studies to the paralegal program after being inspired by a business law course taught by professor Michael Begg. Between attending four practices and playing two games every week, she still manages to balance four courses, working two to three times a week and spending time with the people she cares about.
In regards to Errico’s future, she’s looking forward to eventually working at a local law firm as a paralegal and travelling around Europe one day, but she still has a few more years of school and collegiate basketball left to enjoy. “I would like to play three more years, if my leg lets me,” she stated, hoping to get back the year of eligibility she lost at UVic.
Despite the slow healing process for her injury, Errico is usually known as the person who’s taking care of the people around her. It’s not uncommon for her friends and teammates to look towards Errico for advice and an empathic ear. Even Sadaghiani can speak to her caring nature: he recalled the team’s tournament trip to Cranbrook earlier in the season where Errico left a team dinner to help her teammate who was going through a tough situation.
This Valentine’s Day, Errico will probably be spending it like any other Tuesday: relaxing with some friends (and maybe watching a Ryan Reynolds movie or two).