Former Brush High School basketball standout Simone Jelks was one of three basketball referees promoted Wednesday to full-time status by the NBA. The USC alum, who has officiated in the NBA's G-League for the past three seasons, will become the pro league's seventh full-time female ref, and one of only five currently working.
“We are pleased to welcome Simone, Suyash [Mehta] and Andy [Nagy] to our full-time staff,” said Monty McCutchen, the NBA's senior vice president overseeing referee development and training, in a press release. “They have demonstrated through the growth and the quality of their performance, they warrant working NBA games on a regular basis.”
After attending USC, Jelks earned a Master's Degree from Case Western Reserve University. She played professional basketball in both Croatia and Puerto Rico before she launched her refereeing career.
She is also an author. Last year, she published the nonfiction advice book "One-On-One" which uses basketball as a framing device to advise men on dating ambitious women. (Video from Fox 8's coverage of last year's Cleveland Book Week above.)
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Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...