Quietly, without any fanfare or so much as a press release on the league’s main or media website, the NBA introduced two more female referees to its 70-person referee crew for the 2012-13 season. Lauren Holtkamp worked Friday night’s Chicago Bulls triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Brenda Pantoja was part of the crew that oversaw Atlanta’s win over Oklahoma City on Sunday. The two joined longtime vet Violet Palmer, and in a sign of just how times have changed since Palmer and former ref Dee Kantner joined the league in 1997, the NBA didn’t even bother to type up a showy, self-congratulating announcement when Holtkamp and Pantoja were hired, or made their debuts.
Brenda Pantoja Rumors
Two females are “top candidates” to become NBA referees in 2012-13, Joe Borgia, the vice president of referee operations, said Monday. Lauren Holtkamp and Brenda Pantoja are both WNBA officials who worked the semifinals of the National Basketball Development League playoffs. If chosen for a partial schedule or the entire season, they would join veteran Violet Palmer as the only active female ref in the NBA.