TO SAY Horsham referee Matthew McLoughlin had a successful time officiating the Basketball Australia under-18 Nationals would be an understatement.
McLoughlin had returned home on Sunday after officiating 10 games in eight days at the nationals in Townsville.
Not only did he referee 10 games but he also managed to officiate the men’s semi-final on Friday and was named the Crew Chief of the men’s gold medal match between Victoria Metro and Queensland North on Saturday.
McLoughlin said he was shocked when his name was called out to be the lead referee.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked,” he said.
The Crew Chief is the official which holds all accountability in the game and has two umpires supporting.
“It was an honour as well.”
The game was as thrilling as they come with Metro winning 79 to 77.
“There was no more than six or eight points between the two sides for the whole game,” McLoughlin said.
“There was a huge crowd and it was operated NBL style with full player introductions, court-side announcers and everything.”
McLoughlin said it was the highest quality of basketball he had officiated.
“In the last two minutes Vic Metro were down by six and levelled it up with little time to go and they ended up winning it,” he said.
The future looks bright for McLoughlin who aims to keep on making his way up the basketball referee food chain.
Being named the Crew Chief for the gold medal match is the highest honour McLoughlin could have received and said now he can only take his officiating to the next level.
“I will try and referee in the Big V this season which is the Victorian competition,” he said.
“Hopefully that will improve my ranking and I eventually get to officiate a couple of SEABL games.
“With that experience I hope to referee at the under-20’s nationals.”
McLoughlin must now do the little things to consistently improve his game.
“It will take persistence and perseverance, I will take little steps until I am where I would like to be,” he said.
McLoughlin thanked everyone for their faith in him.
“I would love to thank BVC for selecting me to go to the nationals and I am grateful for the referee development pathway they have made,” he said.
“I would also love to thank the Horsham Amateur Basketball Stadium for allowing me to referee and the support they had given me.”