LAS VEGAS – 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.
“They’re top candidates,” Borgia said at summer league. “In fairness to the other refs, I can’t go any farther than that.”
A decision on the staff of approximately 60 officials is expected in early September. The number of openings is uncertain, although it is believed no one from the 2011-12 lineup has retired and that Bennett Salvatore, one of the top referees, will be returning after missing all last season with injuries.