LAS VEGAS — A female official officiated Friday night’s game between LaVar Ball’s Big Baller Brand and College Bound in the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships in a display of solidarity for another female official who was berated and replaced after she gave Ball a technical foul Friday morning.
The group that supplies officials, Court Club Elite, had initially pushed for an all-female crew, according to a source. Before tipoff, a source said a “compromise” had been reached that would have two women and one man officiate the game.
But Friday’s crew featured only one woman alongside two men. It was unknown why the change was made.
A female official was removed from Friday morning’s game after Ball threatened to pull his team from the court if she were allowed to stay.
“She’s gotta go,” he repeated before she was replaced.
The official, who was visibly shaken after her removal, was replaced by a male official.
After the game, Ball criticized the woman, a Division I women’s basketball official, and said she wasn’t fit to officiate and claimed she wasn’t in shape. He also said she should “stay in your lane.”
Court Club Elite is owned and operated by ex-NBA ref Ed Rush.
Also Friday, a source said officials with Adidas had pressured referees at the event to avoid calling technical fouls against Ball because of his drawing power and value to the tournament.
The source said Court Club Elite officials were told to “put three officials on the game who will keep him in the building” whenever Ball’s team played this week.
Ball pulled his team off the court last weekend after receiving a technical foul during a playoff game at the Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament in Anaheim, California.
In Las Vegas, he drew a technical foul in Wednesday’s loss to Zion Williamson’s SC Supreme squad. He did not get a technical Thursday when, according to a source, he used profanity toward officials throughout the game. The technical issued by the female official Friday morning was his second in three days at the tournament.