Saturday, December 15, 2012
Haywoode Workman is a former NBA player who is now working as a referee for the National Basketball Association. Haywoode was originally drafted in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft and played for the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Bullets, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Toronto Raptors. As a member of the Pacers, where he spent the majority of his career, Workman played a key role on some of the most talented Indiana teams in the organization's history, leading the team in assists during the 1993-94 season as the Pacers fell to the Knicks in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
After his playing career was finished, Workman began working to return to the NBA as an official. As a resident of the Tampa Bay area, Workman took the lead on bringing back the Bay Pro-Am, an NBA Certified summer league that was held in the Tampa Bay area. As he worked his way through the various levels of basketball, Haywoode also spent time refereeing games in pro-am events across the country and various minor leagues. He was also the subject of an ESPN article which chronicled his journey back to the NBA as a referee.
The Rebels are glad to call Haywoode Workman a friend and sincerely appreciate him taking some time to provide insight on what it takes to referee the highest level of basketball in the world.
When did you first realize that you were interested in becoming a referee?
Summer of 2002, when I didn’t receive any offers to play basketball in the NBA or overseas, Bob Delaney (retired NBA Referee) asked if I ever thought about officiating.
What path did you have to take to become a referee at the NBA level?
I started by going to Coast to Coast Referee camp that was in Gainesville, FL at the time. I refereed pro-am ball in Los Angeles and worked for one year in the CBA and then was hired into the D-League where I worked for 4.5 years
What type of classroom training and physical conditioning are required of the NBA referees?
I would say you should find some NBA rule books and become familiar with the rules of the game. Conditioning is different for everyone at the NBA level, but if you’re trying to be an NBA Official I suggest you be in the best shape possible.
How has being a former player in the NBA, help you as a referee?
It’s all about mutual respect on the court.
Can you provide any advice to individuals who may want to pursue a career as a referee?
Find a league to referee that plays under modified NBA rules and get to know the referees there and they will point you in the right direction or you can register to tryout at the D-League Officials tryout.