Getting to Know Official Daryl Humphrey
with Matt Wurst,

The Crew Chief Explains...
An Example of an Illegal Screen

"The Indiana Fever player illegally rolls and impedes the trailing defender's path and prevents the Liberty player from defending Tamika Catchings' shot. This is an accurately called illegal screen."

Q. How did you first get into officiating?
"When I was back in college, I refereed intramural basketball as a way to make some extra money. I officiated a lot of the fraternity games which always ended up being some pretty hot, intense games. That sparked my interest.

Q. Have you ever played the game competitively?
"I actually played basketball in high school. But baseball was actually my sport. I'm an ex-Minor Leaguer in the Yankees system for about three years. When I got released from that, I looked back into basketball and got into the city pro-am leagues and ended up getting into the NBA program. I was in the CBA for almost 12 years and things didn't work out. When the WNBA came out, after the first year, I was asked to come over and help out along with seven other individuals. This is my eighth season in the league.

Q. As a crew chief, how important is chemistry between your fellow officials? You guys are like a third team out there, right?
"Absoutely. It is very important for officials to get along both on and off the court. You find out that even when you go out together and have a nice lunch, it carries out to the court and in the game. Partnering is very big in officiating profession. You can't be too much of a mean person or a loner. You have to be a team player, help them out in certain instances like when they don't have a good look at the play or an out of bounds call."

Q. How hard is it to ignore some of the fans' comments you hear or not take them personally?
"You take everything with a grain of salt. We know that once we put on that uniform, we are going to be questioned and put under a microscope. Every call is now magnified. You hear the comments sometimes, but as long as they are not too unprofessional, you can deal with them. You appreciate good humor and clever remarks as well."

Humphrey (r.) and fellow Crew Chief Corner Bryan Enterline and Tina Napier officials at this year's All-Star Game.
Q. What do you like to do in your time off the court and away from the game?
"I have a sales job in the rebate business. I'm fortunate in that I get to travel and still have a job. It's straight commission, so they only pay me what I sell. I can do my job all over the country, so I can see some clients or prospects in whatever city or town I have a game in that week. I can drop in and say hello."

Q. Is having two very different jobs like that ever difficult?
"It isn't hard balancing and wearing different hats like this. I give myself plenty of time before games to get rested and get ready for the game."

Q. During the offseason, how do you stay in shape or prepare for the upcoming year?
"For me, it's all about working out. Late in the games is when your concentration needs to be at its highest. You need it throughout the game, but you really need it most near the finish. If you are not in that good shape, your concentration won't be where it should be and you can start to miss plays. We don't want that. So I have a pretty decent workout program that combines aerobic and weight training. You have to be able to keep up with these players."

Q. And these are some tight uniforms, so that's some extra motivation, right?
"Exactly. In the black and white shirts, you can get away with it a little bit more, but our uniforms are not forgiving at all. They show everything."