Trading in the Green and Gold for Black and White
So you’re sitting at a basketball game and there’s a lousy call made by the official. OK, maybe it wasn’t a lousy call but it certainly is a call that goes against your team. Do you yell at the official? You at least boo, right? Well, if you’ve done the booing at a local high school basketball game in the past 25 years, there’s a good chance you may have been giving it to a pair of Senior Associate Athletic Directors at Mason.
Adam Brick, Senior Associate AD for External Relations and Mickey McDade, Senior Associate AD for Business Administration, Facilities and Recreation haven’t needed to put on the black and white stripes and step out onto the court. They’ve wanted to.
For McDade, it started when he was on active duty in the military. Running recreation programs, he had to officiate out of necessity. Throw in the fact that his father had officiated football and basketball, and it was in some ways a family business. Brick began his officiating career doing college intramurals while at Georgetown. For both of them, the taste of officiating led to working first high school basketball, then eventually college basketball.
McDade began doing high school games in 1983 (he once gave the legendary Woodson coach Red Jenkins a technical) and Brick started doing high school ball in 1989. Brick, who still officiates, also has worked games for the Ivy League and the Patriot League while McDade used to officiate in the Capital Athletic Conference (Division III).
While both men enjoyed working college basketball, they agreed, there’s something special about doing high school games.
“I like high school basketball a lot and I continue to do it a lot because of the camaraderie among the officials,” Brick said. “You go out after games, swap stories…”
“High school ball is where I spent most of my time and got to know the fraternity if you will of not only the people I officiated with but all the local coaches and the kids in the area,” McDade said. “When you do college, you’re traveling and you’re meeting guys maybe once, twice a year and then you’re off to the next game.”
McDade remembers a memorable call he made during a regional final at Patriot Center between Edison and Oakton. He made a controversial call that was talked about on local sports radio. For Brick, what stands out is a game when he didn’t have to call a foul until the fourth quarter.
So remember, next time you’re raining boos on a zebra, mad at a call he or she made, take a minute to consider where they came from. And if you think they might work at James Madison or VCU or Old Dominion, feel free to keep booing.