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First Women Named to be NBA Regular Season Officials:
A Q&A with Dee Kantner from the Editors of

Dee Kantner, the crew chief for the 1997 WNBA Championship Game, and Violet Palmer have made history, becoming the first women to be named to the NBA regular season officiating roster. As members of the official roster, they will referee games across the country from November through the end of the season.

Kantner, who has refereed two women###s NCAA semifinal games, four national championship games, the 1994 Women###s World Championships and numerous other international and collegiate games, was named the 1997 Naismith Women###s Official of the Year. As the Supervisor of Officials for the WNBA###s inaugural season, she was responsible for recruiting, training and supervising officials and assisting the league with rule development.

Palmer, who refereed the 1996 and 1997 NCAA finals with Kantner, and the 1995, 1996 and 1997 State Farm Hall of Fame Game before joining the WNBA###s officiating roster for the 1997 season, acted as lead official for both the WNBA Western Conference semifinal game and Championship Game. Both Kantner and Palmer have called NBA preseason games.

Go to for the official announcement, a Q&A with Dee Kantner (we don###t have one with Palmer) and the RealAudio Q&A press conference with both refs: