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Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling becomes first mother to officiate an NBA game

Warriors Bulls Basketball

Referee Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling right, talks with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Chicago. This is Holtkamp-Sterling’s first game since giving birth to a daughter. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


CHICAGO — Referee Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling made NBA history Friday night when she became the first mother to officiate a league game.

Holtkamp-Sterling worked the Bulls-Warriors game in Chicago.

The game was the first for Holtkamp-Sterling since she gave birth to daughter Stoan this year. She missed last season with a knee injury that required surgery and the start of her 2019-20 season was delayed by abdominal surgery.

Her husband, Jonathan Sterling, worked the Los Angeles Clippers-Bucks game in Milwaukee on Friday night. The couple met at a college basketball referees event before they became the first married couple to officiate in league history.

“That’s amazing. 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,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

In 2014, Holtkamp-Sterling became the third full-time female referee in league history.