SVSU alumna Jenna Schroeder refereed her first game as the sixth woman to officiate in the NBA on Wednesday, Oct. 23. She is one of four female referees this season.
A Clio native, Schroeder graduated from SVSU in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
Schroeder transferred to SVSU from Oakland University in 2006, where she played basketball for a year. Upon joining the women’s basketball team at SVSU, she played in 25 games during the 2006-2007 season, averaging 14.6 points per game.
In her career high-scoring game, Schroeder scored 24 points against Northern Michigan.
Following her only season at SVSU, Schroeder followed her love of basketball and refereed games while still attending the school.
Schroeder told the Associated Press that she started refereeing as a teen and decided to continue after finding out she could do it professionally.
“I started refereeing when I was in high school, and after I graduated college and had more time, I just sort of fell into it,” Schroeder said. “Someone looked at me one day and asked why I didn’t just do it as a profession, and I said, ‘You can do that?’”
Schroeder began officiating college games in the ACC, Big East, Atlantic 10 and American Athletic conferences.
From there, she found a spot on officiating squads in both the Women’s National Basketball Association and the G-League, the NBA’s version of the minor league.
Schroeder eventually was noticed by Monty McCutchen, the NBA vice president and head of referee development. He offered her a position as a full-time NBA referee Oct. 22.
On Oct. 23, Schroeder made her NBA officiating debut in San Antonio, as the Spurs hosted the Knicks for an early-season game. On Nov. 3, Schroeder officiated her second NBA game, in Washington.