Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling makes history as first mother to officiate NBA game

Jack Baer
Writer
Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling is one of only four female officials in the NBA. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

For the first time in NBA history, a mother was holding a whistle on the floor.

Officiating her first game since giving birth to her daughter, Stoan, earlier this year, Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling made history as the NBA’s first mother to work as a referee, according to the Associated Press.

The game officiated by Holtkamp-Sterling was Friday night’s game between the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls.

Holtkamp-Sterling, who has had her job since 2014, had already made history as one half of the first married couple to officiate in league history. Her husband, Jonathan Sterling, was less than 100 miles north officiating the Milwaukee Bucks’ domination of the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Given the amount of time on the road required to be an NBA official, your guess is as good as ours on how they handle childcare. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was among those wondering how they pull it off.

“That's amazing,” Kerr said, via the AP. “They probably have a good nanny, I'm guessing. That cannot be easy raising a child with two NBA refs as parents. It's a pretty incredible story. I'm happy for Lauren that she's back on the court.”

Currently one of only four full-time officials in the NBA, Holtkamp-Sterling reportedly missed last season due to a knee injury requiring surgery and missed the start of this season due to abdominal surgery.

Holtkamp-Sterling isn’t alone in all sports as an official and mother, though. Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first full-time female official, is a mother of three.

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