Meet Blanca Burns: the first Mexican NBA referee

Now in its 75th season, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has given various surprises in Mexico, especially to the lagoons. In addition to condition the first restored court in Torreón by that organization in Mexico, La Laguna also makes history within the games with its human talent.

White Cecilia Cazale de Burns is the name of the lagoon that currently stands out as the first Mexican referee in the NBA. Born in Torreón, Coahuila, she carries the country and the region high with her work within the association. She began that professional path, in December 2021, with the game of Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs.

In an interview for MILLENNIUMcomments that from a very young age she grabbed the basketball, still living in La Laguna, a passion that she took to El Paso and eventually to Oklahoma, playing until college, where she was in two institutions: University of Central Oklahoma and Mid-America Christian University graduating as psychologistalong with looking for work to pay for his undergraduate studies.

During one of the practices she had, her coach announced to the team members that she YMCAan association that seeks the integrity of children in the country, was looking for referees for basketball tournaments for 3-year-olds. She applied and was accepted, starting at this level up to staggering and being referee in all sections.

Just as there are camps for kids and teams in the summer, there are also camps for referees. When he was at college camp in Phoenix, Arizonapoints out that there were researchers from the NBA, who have the function of going to all the referee camps in that country to identify those who are promising to work refereeing games for the organization.


He declares that for this he takes a process, which, when worn completely, can help position itself within the NBA. “Every referee in the NBA today has been through the NBA G League, which is the semi-professional league. So to work in the NBA and WNBA, you have to have been there.”

He talked to one of the investigators and told him to go to an NBA camp in Virginia. “It took me three years after that. It was a process in which I had to go through different levels and on my third attempt was when they hired me for the G League and from there I climbed to where I am”.

For Blanca Cecilia, finding herself in the place where she is implies make a dream come true. “As a child, I did not grow up thinking about being an NBA referee, it was not something that I would have imagined, but Seeing the opportunity, I decided to give it a try and see how far I could go.”.

He mentions that it is an incredible experience to know that he was able to arrive despite the difficult moments and the work hand in hand with the best players, coaches and referees in the world. “It is a dream come true”.

For children and adolescents who are dreaming of reaching such high goals, mention that good support is important. “I would not be here without the help of my husband and my family”, for which he advises fundamentally, both this and trust in yourself and be aware that it will not be easy: It will be hard work, but through effort you can do whatever your mind wants.

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Meet Blanca Burns: the first Mexican NBA referee