Marty Davison had a big call up this past week
During the New Zealand NBL season, I had a message from the head of Referees in Australia (Scott Butler) asking if I would like to join a small group called the Elite Referees Programme (ERP). I jumped at this opportunity and was stoked to be invited. Being involved in this group meant engagement and discussion in our Facebook group going over clips, calls of interest and overall chat about things. Just before the season had finished up, our group met together at the next generation camp in Melbourne where we refereed a group of players who were fighting for ANBL roster spots.
As we came to September, all of us in the ERP programme were invited to the ANBL pre-season blitz in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to get a couple of games here which went well. At the conclusion of the blitz, all of the ERP members were named on the development panel for the ANBL for the 2018/2019 season which I was extremely rapt with.
As the season began, I was rostered on as “Emergency” referee for three of the first five Breakers’ home games. The Emergency Referee is in full referee gear and runs the instant replay system each game. The three referees on the floor can use the instant replay at certain times in the game and for some specific situations. The cool thing about dong this is that I am able to sit in on the pre-game and post-game discussions with the referees. This was a huge help in seeing how the appointed officials prepare and how they reflect after each game.
A few weeks ago I got a call from Scott Butler saying that he would like to roster me on to the Round Eight game between the Sydney Kings and the NZ Breakers on Sunday 9th December. I was so excited to have this opportunity and was looking forward to it.
Leading up to the game, there were a few nerves but once the game started it was all go – the Crew Chief even surprised me by giving me the basketball to throw it up on the initial Jump-ball. The game went so quickly and I don’t remember much of it! I tried to stay focused and relaxed at the same time. The game came down to the last shot with Breakers having a chance to win but couldn’t get the shot up before the buzzer went off.
The season is just under halfway through and I am learning new things every week from the more experienced referees. Their level of self-reflection is high and they are striving to get better every week. I’m excited for what the rest of the season holds.