LHSAA/NBA Partnership Targets Graduating Seniors to Referee Basketball

Baton Rouge, La. — The LHSAA is proud to announce a partnership with the LHSOA,
NBA Referee Operations Department, Jr. NBA, and RefReps that will support the
identification of an elite group of graduating Louisiana high school seniors and onboard
them into the business of officiating.

WhistleUpLouisiana2024 targets students who exhibit potential for officiating success
and want to “whistleup” and become basketball officials. Students must currently be
enrolled and in good standing with an LHSAA school, participate and/or show interest in
sports, and demonstrate promise in key areas like leadership, problem-solving, and
communication skills. All WhistleUpLouisiana2024 candidates must be recommended by
an LHSAA stakeholder like a principal, athletic director, coach, official, etc.

“We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity to work with our member
schools to identify an elite group of students,” said LHSAA Director of Officials Lee
Sanders. “Our WhistleUpLouisiana2024 referees will receive the best training to support
their effectiveness, and we are committed to equip these young people with the
knowledge and tools for success on and off the court.”

Gary Zielinski, the Director of Youth and Amateur Officiating Development for the NBA,
said, “We look forward to welcoming these graduating seniors to the world of basketball
officiating which is led by integrity, fairness, and the desire to work on a craft that can
provide a lifetime of enjoyment and friendships.”

This select group will receive specialized instruction from the NBA Referee Operations
Department, RefReps Officiating Education System, and the LHSAA/LHSOA leadership
team. “At present, RefReps Intro to Sports Officiating classes are being taught in high
schools and colleges/universities across 42 different states,” said RefReps Founder and
CEO, Kyle Armstrong. “This elite opportunity is truly a first-of-its-kind for young people
across Louisiana. I have always been impressed by the LHSAA’s visionary leadership,
and we are proud to work alongside these organizations to develop the next generation
of great sports officials in this state!”

Mentors and coaches will provide relational support, and WhistleUpLouisiana2024
referees will get opportunities to earn money working Jr. NBA, recreational, and
subvarsity games. WhistleUpLouisiana2024 officials will learn about officiating as a
career pathway and receive financial assistance to defray uniform and licensure costs.

“This initiative will put these young people to work and give them the chance to quickly
make money while learning how to referee basketball,” said Sanders. “We look forward
to training and supporting our WhistleUpLouisiana2024 referees and helping them make
a smooth transition into the business of officiating.”

Schools may use this link to recommend graduating seniors. Nominations are due May

For media inquiries or more information about WhistleUpLouisiana2024, email Lee
Sanders at lsanders@lhsaa.org.

For media inquiries or more information about RefReps, email hype@refreps.com.

About RefReps (www.refreps.com)
RefReps, a Zionsville-based education technology company, launched their “Intro to Sports Officiating”
education initiative in 2022. On a mission to help the world see the game through the eyes of officials,
RefReps provides coursework and materials to equip schools, colleges, and organizations with the tools
needed to teach the pillars of officiating. With a standardized course curriculum, RefReps is making a
significant impact by addressing the national officiating shortage by helping the next generation
understand the importance of, and need for, great sports officials. Follow us on Twitter/X @RefReps,
Instagram @refrepsplay, and Facebook.