- Major: Recreation Administration
- Class Of: 1988
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.