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Dee Kantner



A trailblazing and iconic referee in the NBA, Dee Kanter has dedicated nearly four decades of her life to the game.

Dee began officiating NCAA Division1 women’s basketball in 1984 and has continued to do so for 38 years.

She broke the glass ceiling in 1997 when with Violet Palmer the pair became the first women to referee in the NBA. She officiated in the best league on the planet for five years.

At international level, she has a special connection with Australia having refereed Down Under at the 1994 FIBA World Cup and 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Dee has also served the game in roles as WNBA Supervisor of Officials in the league’s formative years in 1997 and 1998.

In 2003, she became Director of Referee development for the WNBA. She returned to Supervisor of Officials role in 2005 and remained until the end of the 2016 season.

Check out She Hoops referee mentoring with Dee here.