Wednesday, April 05, 2017
The Best Referee in AAU Basketball
The high school basketball season may be over, but the die-hards have moved on to AAU. That includes my grandson, who has already played in two tournaments over the past two weekends. Last weekend, I met the funniest referee I've seen.
My grandson and his team were playing at Spooky Nook in Lancaster, which incidentally is the largest indoor sports facility in the country. The place is so damn big it could include a golf course. It even has its own hotel.
AAU basketball can get intense. Some out-of-control parents can really get on the men and women in stripes. Though the ref usually ignores them, I've seen refs eject these headcases and call technical fouls. But this ref, and yes that is a video of him above, has a completely different approach.
When I arrived, I was just in time to hear some fans accuse him of being paid off. Instead of getting angry, he told them only one of his pockets was full and it was their turn to pay up. When one rotund mother complained about a call she thought was unfair, he walked up to her and said, "You get on with your fine self." She was purring soon after that.
What made this guy really stand out was when he blew the whistle. It someone was out of bounds, he'd stand by the sideline and shake his ass. If someone traveled, he'd roll his arms. If there was a block, it was a pelvic thrust.
Before long, everyone was laughing and remembering that this is, after all, just a game.
He'd razz the players. When one of them asked who was shooting free throws, he said, "The guy standing at the line. Who do you think?"
And once it was over, he made sure everyone shook hands.