May 28, 2009

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (AP) -Referee Violet Palmer was hired as coordinator of women's basketball officials for the West Coast Conference and will remain with the NBA, where she has worked for 12 seasons.

Palmer became the first woman to officiate a major U.S. professional sport when she made her NBA debut on Oct. 31, 1997. She has spent the last 12 seasons in the NBA, and officiated four playoff games and more than 700 regular season games. She also worked in the CBA and WNBA.

Before working in pro basketball, Palmer spent nine seasons officiating in the women's college ranks. She worked five NCAA women's Final Fours, and officiated in the West Coast Conference, Pac-10, WAC, Big Sky and Big West.