Monday December 10th, 2018 3:52AM

She's got next: In the G League, female refs can make a name

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MIAMI (AP) — The G League season opens Friday night, and there will be someone on the court in places like Grand Rapids or Greensboro or Des Moines whose next job will be in the NBA.

That isn't limited to players.

Or to men.

Nearly one-third of the referees in the G League this season are women, and some — like dozens of players, coaches, front-office staff and refs — are moving closer to realizing NBA hopes. Every referee hired by the NBA in the last 15 years has some experience in what's now called the G League, which means it's a proving ground for both those who are making plays and making calls.

"It was my experience that as my skill set deepened, so did my resolve to work at the highest level," said Lauren Holtkamp, the NBA's third full-time female referee and someone who spent six seasons in what was called the NBA Development League before it was rebranded earlier this year. "The training fueled the desire."

That's the same sort of sentiment players in the G League have.

Every NBA team opened this season with a G League alum on its roster, some with many of them. The NBA says 38 percent of its players right now have at least some G League experience, and that number has been rising rapidly in recent years. In 2004-05, there were 15 G League graduates starting the season in the NBA; this season, there were 167.

Detroit, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago and Miami combined to have 48 G League alums on their rosters — more than the entire NBA had a decade ago.

"I absolutely think all are really realizing the high level of talent, the high level of competition that we have in the league," G League President Malcolm Turner said. "We are a league of opportunity and a league of aspiration. We can be a launch pad to help NBA dreams come true whether you're a player, coach, referee, on down the line and that's reflected in the style of play that you see. Our guys get after it, night in and night out."

The league is now up to a record 26 teams; a 27th is coming next season and Turner hasn't ruled out the chance that the league's goal — 30 teams, all single-affiliated with an NBA club — could become reality within a year or two at the most. It's also the first season with two-way contract opportunities for players, who can spend up to 45 days in the NBA on those more-lucrative deals while continuing to develop in the G League.

The G League will also again be a laboratory of sorts for the NBA. To start this season, the G League is using four-person refereeing crews instead of the customary three, plus will be offering a coach's challenge and a 2-minute overtime. As has been the case with plenty of other experiments over the years, the NBA will study what happens and see if the results suggest it could help their game.

But when it comes to the female referees, that's no experiment.

Many worked summer league games this year, and Holtkamp — the only woman working NBA games as an official right now — is looking forward to the day when female refs might no longer be viewed as a novelty.

"I'm invigorated knowing there are talented and determined women in the developmental program who have access to the best training in the world," Holtkamp said. "I believe in their ability to do this work."


More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Protocol in Asia? Trump to use 'whatever language he wants'
President Donald Trump's visit to Asia beginning Friday means lots of planning, no insults and above all, no surprises
2:58PM ( 2 minutes ago )
She's got next: In the G League, female refs can make a name
Nearly one-third of the referees in the G League this season are women, and like players they also have NBA aspirations
2:54PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Nats manager Martinez: 'We're here to win the World Series'
First-time manager Dave Martinez knows Nationals hired him with 1 goal in mind
2:48PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Baseball agent, trainer sentenced on smuggling convictions
A sports agent and a baseball trainer convicted of illegally smuggling Cuban players into the U.S. have been sentenced to prison
2:15PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Yum Brands sees sales growth, says NFL hasn't had effect
Yum Brands sees key sales figure rise at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, says it saw no effect from declining NFL viewership
10:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
UConn women a unanimous No. 1 in AP preseason hoops poll
UConn is No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball preseason poll for the 12th time in the school's history
8:04AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Sports
Truck attack suspect is charged with terrorism offenses
Federal prosecutors have brought terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage that left eight people dead, saying he was spurred to attack by the Islamic State group's online calls to action
12:15AM ( 14 hours ago )
Talked out: Cavs drop 4th straight day after team meeting
Thaddeus Young scored 26 points, Darren Collison had 25 and the Indiana Pacers sent the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fourth straight loss, 124-107
11:03PM ( 15 hours ago )
Happy birthday: Heat top Bulls 97-91 to end 3-game slide
Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Tyler Johnson added 19 and Miami beat Chicago 97-91 to snap a three-game slide
10:35PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
NBA Finals hangovers? Steve Kerr says they can be very real
There's still no reason to think that a fourth consecutive NBA Finals matchup between Golden State and Cleveland cannot happen
12:47PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Astros take in Warriors vs Clippers
A day before playing for a championship, a few of the Houston Astros went to see a team of champions
5:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Warriors' Green takes issue with fine for fight with Beal
Golden State star Draymond Green is taking issue with being fined $25,000 for a skirmish with Washington's Bradley Beal, saying he was trying to protect himself from Beal and players from the Wizards' bench
12:33AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Nats manager Martinez: 'We're here to win the World Series'
First-time manager Dave Martinez knows Nationals hired him with 1 goal in mind
2:48PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: Manafort, Gates ask for release from home arrest
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business associate Rick Gates are asking a federal judge to release them from home confinement while they await trial on several financial charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller
2:36PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Detained politicians taken to jail in vans
Hours after a judge sent eight former Catalan Cabinet members to jail without bail and ordered another to be held pending a bail payment, the suspects have been taken from a Madrid court in police vans with sirens wailing
2:32PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump optimistic about tax cuts by end of year
President Donald Trump is calling the tax bill released Thursday by Congressional Republicans "a great bill," expressing optimism that it will be passed into law by the end of the year
2:28PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Russia hackers pursued Putin foes, not just US Democrats
The hackers who sowed havoc in the final stage of America's presidential contest had global ambitions that went well beyond Hillary Clinton's campaign
2:21PM ( 39 minutes ago )