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Impact Map

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The Impact Map shows how Cal Poly Pomona alumni are making a difference in Southern California and around the country. Explore the map or share your own impact.

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Violet Palmer

Violet Palmer

Hanging Up Her Sneakers

In 1997, Violet Palmer became the National Basketball Association’s first female referee, and after 919 games Palmer, 52, retired on Sept. 29 after battling knee injuries toward the end of her career. She became the first woman to work the postseason when she called Game 2 of the first-round Eastern Conference matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets in 2006, and she’ll continue to work for the NBA as a manager in referee operations. A former point guard, the 5-foot 9-inch Palmer led Cal Poly Pomona to Division II national basketball titles in 1985 and ’86. In 1997 she told Sports Illustrated that the biggest challenge of refereeing NBA players was their size. “They’re so much bigger that it’s hard just to see around them,” Palmer said.
—Alexandra Fenwick

 

Published on May 16, 2016

Impact Map

Explore Impact Map

The Impact Map shows how Cal Poly Pomona alumni are making a difference in Southern California and around the country. Explore the map or share your own impact.

Explore the map

Submit Your Story