Darell Lee Garretson[1] (March 18, 1932 – April 21, 2008)[2] was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 27 years from 1967 to 1994, and he later served as NBA Supervisor of Officials for 17 years from 1981 to 1998.[2] During his career, Garretson officiated over 2,000 games, including 1,798 regular season NBA games,[3] 269 playoff games, 41 Finals games and five All-Star games.[4] On September 9th, 2016 Darell Garretson was inducted in the NBA HOF.  

On September 9th, 2016, Garretson will be officially elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as an official.[5]


As a referee, Garretson was credited for creating and heading the first union for NBA referees, known as the National Association of Basketball Referees, a predecessor to the present day NBRA. Garretson was also instrumental in hiring female sports officials into professional sports.  Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner are just a few names he has paved the way for.  

Later when he became officiating supervisor, Garretson was an advocate for increasing the number of officials per NBA game from two to three, beginning with the 1988–89 NBA season.[12] The addition of the third official allowed for better coverage of the court and also provided mentoring for younger officials with two more experienced officials. Garretson urged all officials to improve there skills by breaking down there own game films.  Video analysis was a key competent for Garretson to implement with all his officials training. 

Working in the NBA's front office, he also was involved with scouting prospective officials and providing instruction.[12] He developed the concept of "refereeing the defense", a practice in which officials focus attention on a defensive player instead of watching the ball.[12] He urged all officials to continue improving skills and achieving personal goals by focusing on every possible aspect. 


Darell Garretson and Jeanne Garretson have two sons, Ron, and Rick.[2] Ron Garretson became a basketball official, and is currently a referee in the NBA #10. Son Rick is a current administrator and offensive coordinator at one the top power house football programs in the state of AZ, Chandler HS.  Chandler HS just won the state title for 2017 at the 6A level!  Rick, Wendy, Lauren Lee, Darrell, and Mackers all reside in AZ. 

Greg Willard
Born November 5, 1958
Pasadena, California
Died April 1, 2013 (aged 54)
Cause of death Pancreatic Cancer
Nationality American
Education Long Beach State, Orange Coast College
Occupation Referee (NBA)
Spouse(s) Laurie (m. 1990)
Children Bryce, Shelby, Weston

Greg Willard (November 5, 1958 – April 1, 2013) was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 1988 and wore the uniform number 57. Willard officiated 1,515 regular season, 134 playoff and three NBA Finals games.

Marvin "Mendy" Rudolph (March 8, 1926 – July 4, 1979)[1] was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 22 years, from 1953 to 1975. Regarded as one of the greatest officials in NBA history,[citation needed] Rudolph officiated 2,112 NBA games (a record held at retirement) and was the first league referee to work 2,000 games.[1] He was also selected to referee eight NBA All-Star Games and made 22 consecutive NBA Finals appearances.[1]

Following his career as a referee, he was a color commentator for CBS Sports's coverage of the NBA on CBS for two seasons from 1975 to 1977 and he appeared in atelevision advertisement for Miller Lite. He was a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2007.[2]