NBA female refs: Who are all the female referees in the NBA


Lauren Holtkamp, Simone Jelks, Ashley Moyer-Gleich, Natalie Sago, and Jenna Schroeder are the five NBA female referees today, and here’s more on them.

Lauren Holtkamp had been one of the first female NBA referees to make her way into NBA, Simone Jelks being the last of the five. These women are former college athletes and have been commendable at their jobs as referees.

It was Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner to first set history by becoming the first ones to reach the top tier in basketball and become excellent referees in the 90s. However, let’s take our focus to the currently employed five women who themselves haven’t stayed back in creating history.

Lauren Holtkamp

Lauren Holtkamp is an NBA female referee
Referee Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling made NBA history when she became the first mother to officiate a league game. (Image: NBA)

Lauren was born on November 24, 1980, in Jefferson City, Missouri. There as a young woman she had been a part of the Lady Panther Basketball teams in Southwest Missouri State. University. It was in her hands; they attained their biggest accomplishment of playing in the NCAA II national championship.

After completing her under graduation and graduation at Drury University she set off on a path of success and excelling her merits as a referee, unlike her peers. Within 10 years she entered the NBA ranks and after six seasons of experience in the NBA D-League, she became an official referee at the association, only the third to attain this position. Since then she has officiated over 200 season games, and also at WNBA and FIBA games.

Simone Jelks

SImone Jelks is a Cleveland native
Simone Jelks is the NBA’s 7th full-time female referee. (Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Born on March 9, 1986, in Cleveland, Ohio, Simone Jelks growing up attended the Charles F. Brush School in Lyndhurst. Jelks has always been dedicated to basketball, both as a player and referee. As a player, she played in her college and even playedw in Puerto Rico and Croatia.

In her high school, she was named to the Athletic Wall of Fame. She has a Master’s in Public Health and in Urban Secondary Teaching and has also worked as a Spanish teacher. This multi-faceted woman was recruited as an NBA referee in the 2019 season.

Ashley Moyer-Gleich

Ashley Moyer-Gleich is a well known female referee in the NBA
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JANUARY 10: Referee Ashley Moyer-Gleich during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The third woman to become a full-time referee at the NBA, Ashley was born on August 5, 1987, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She attended Cedar Crest High School and went to college at Millersville.

Ashley herself is married to NCAA referee Johnee Gleich and too has been a collegiate basketball player who played for Division II. Ashley as a non-staff referee officiated two seasons of NBA Gatorade and one WNBA. She started officially as an NBA referee in 2018.

Natalie Sago

Natalie Sago is a Missouri native
DALLAS, TEXAS – OCTOBER 14: NBA official Natalie Sago during a preseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center on October 14, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The fourth woman referee, Natalie Sago was born on May 24, 1989, in Farmington, Missouri. She wears jersey number 9 and also has officiated NBA-G League and WNBA games before becoming a full-time referee at the NBA.

At Jefferson and Drury she professionally played softball for a few seasons. Completing her graduation in K-12 Physical Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she set off to become one of the few higher-ranked NBA female officials.

Jenna Schroeder

Jenna Schroeder is a Michigan native
Referee Jenna Schroeder runs down the court in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The fifth recruit and also who joined the NBA in the 2018 season, Jenna Schroeder has extensive athletic experience. Balancing her two careers as a bartender and referee, she carved her ladder up to the NBA and empowers fellow women too, to seize this ‘opportunity’.

Schroeder was born in 1985 in Flint, Michigan attended the Saginaw Valley State University, where she graduated in Communications. She has since then worked in the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big East, officiated WNBA and NBA G games before starting as a full-time NBA staff.

These are the five NBA female referees currently employed in the NBA. Also, Adam Silver, NBA commissioner had stated in a report in 2017, he wishes to appoint more than there is no point in not doing so. And definitely, these women who excel at their jobs as NBA referees attest to the statement.

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