cloudy.png
Tuesday October 4th, 2022 10:00AM

Lo van Pham honored to be first Asian American official

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Lo van Pham’s journey to the NFL began when he fell in love with sports upon arriving in Texas after living in refugee camps with his family.

More than 40 years later, van Pham is set to become the first Asian American to officiate in the NFL.

“I never dreamed about being the first of anything,” van Pham said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “It’s just a great honor. People reaching out to me, reminding me of how special this is, and I just want to do the right thing and carry whatever message I need to carry to represent not only our Asian culture and Asian friends, but also really to represent all minorities, whether Middle Eastern, just different backgrounds, different people that are out there. I want to communicate to convey the fact that if you work hard, prepare yourself, commit and do the things that you can control, your desires and your passion will carry you to the next level in whatever endeavor you choose.”

Before he was introduced to football in America, van Pham and his parents and two brothers survived traveling the jungles of South Vietnam and bounced around refugee camps in Laos, Thailand and the Philippines for about three years. He was too young to remember much of that experience, but his parents filled him in as he got older.

“They were telling me how, obviously, filthy it was, how dirty it was,” van Pham said. “But other than that, I remember my first night here in America we stayed in a kind of a makeshift hospital where they boarded us for the first few weeks until we got our feet on the ground.”

Van Pham, 49, grew up surrounded by Dallas Cowboys fans in Amarillo, Texas. He started playing football as a kid and continued through high school. He turned to officiating to stay connected to the sport while pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Colorado.

“When I signed up for it, it was kind of out of boredom and out of love for the game,” he said. “I remember telling my friends what I was doing, their first comment: ‘Are you nuts? Are you crazy? You got better things to do on a Saturday and Sunday.’

"I actually love this. This is what I grew up playing, and I just absolutely love the game. And from there, it just made me want to get better.”

Van Pham attended officiating clinics and camps after moving back to Texas from Colorado. He trained with a high school association and developed his skills as an official.

Van Pham joins the NFL from the Big 12 Conference. He’ll work as a side judge while maintaining his day job because officials aren’t full-time employees. Van Pham’s background is civil structure engineering.

“Since being in Power Five football, most of my friends seem to think that football is really my full-time job, and my real job is my part-time job,” he said.

The NFL has 121 on-field game officials, 49 of them are women or minorities.

Being a dad is van Pham's favorite job; he and his wife, Kelly, have two sons ages 7 and 2.

“They keep me humble,” he said. “They remind me of what my job is that’s No. 1, be a father. That’s the most important thing to be a father and to be a great husband.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden has an eye on China as he heads to South Korea, Japan
President Joe Biden is off to South Korea and Japan on a six-day trip aimed at building rapport with the Asian nations’ leaders
2:29PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Navalny's team urges more Russian sanctions to help Ukraine
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team has been meeting with senators on Capitol Hill
2:22PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Naomi Osaka gets rematch as she returns to French Open
Naomi Osaka’s return to the French Open will be a tough test against the player who beat her at the Australian Open, No. 27 Amanda Anisimova
2:21PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz on same half of French Open bracket
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz all were placed on the same half of the French Open men’s bracket in the draw for the clay-court Grand Slam tournament
1:48PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Live updates | Another wild ride by Daly ends in 74 at PGA
Another wild ride for John Daly has ended at the PGA Championship
1:44PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Celtics' White to miss Game 2, heads home for child's birth
Marcus Smart is hoping to play
1:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Saban calls out Texas A&M for using NIL deals to buy players
Alabama coach Nick Saban called out Texas A&M, saying the school was “buying” players with name, image and likeness deals
2:25AM ( 12 hours ago )
Buffalo sports teams offer support at site of mass shooting
Dozens of players and staff from professional Buffalo sports teams visited the scene of Saturday's mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, where they laid flowers, dished out food and handed out groceries
2:58PM ( 23 hours ago )
Raise makes Ohio State's Day one of highest-paid coaches
Ohio State plans to hike Ryan Day’s annual salary to $9.5 million as part of a two-year contract extension that will put him among the nation’s highest-paid college football coaches
2:22PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
AP source: Browns Watson to meet with NFL officials in Texas
A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will meet with NFL officials in Texas
4:36PM ( 2 days ago )
Falcons sign LB Nick Kwiatkoski, add WR Geronimo Allison
The Atlanta Falcons have signed inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski to a one-year contract
3:52PM ( 2 days ago )
Column: Maple Leafs now at 55 years since last championship
As soon as the NHL expanded to more than six teams, and television networks switched to color, the Toronto Maple Leafs were in trouble
3:01PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Biden has an eye on China as he heads to South Korea, Japan
President Joe Biden is off to South Korea and Japan on a six-day trip aimed at building rapport with the Asian nations’ leaders
2:29PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Navalny's team urges more Russian sanctions to help Ukraine
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team has been meeting with senators on Capitol Hill
2:22PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Naomi Osaka gets rematch as she returns to French Open
Naomi Osaka’s return to the French Open will be a tough test against the player who beat her at the Australian Open, No. 27 Amanda Anisimova
2:21PM ( 13 minutes ago )
GOP directs culture war fury toward green investing trend
Red state officials are coming out swinging against growing Wall Street efforts to consider environmental risk in investment decisions
2:20PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Live updates | Biden hails Sweden, Finland NATO applications
President Joe Biden has hailed the “momentous” applications of once-neutral Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
2:11PM ( 22 minutes ago )