Two of NSW experienced and highly respected NBL referees’ Brett Hogan and Brad Giersch announced their retirement from NBL this month.

Basketball NSW caught up with both Brett and Brad on their retirements to reflect on their amazing careers officiating in the NBL.

Brett Hogan who officiated 259 NBL games and 1 NBL Grand Final said “I will really miss the games, but not the travel and will miss not catching up with great mates from interstate. The NBL gave me an opportunity to get my FIBA Licence and that gave me a lot of opportunities to see places I wouldn’t have seen or gone to otherwise. The NBL also gave me the opportunity to have a wider network of friends I wouldn’t have met”.

We asked Brett, do you still remember officiating your first NBL game, who did you officiate this game with and what was your first game like?

“Don’t remember who I was with, but it was at Wollongong. I went to a wedding, skipped the reception to get to the game, then went back to the end of the wedding reception. The MC, who did my wedding just prior to this, wondered where I was and he thought Tracy and I may have already split up!”

How should we imagine the life of an NBL referee?

“A lot of time away from home, travel, in airports and basketball venues. It is a huge commitment and nobody does it for the money”.

Brad Giersch a 440 NBL game veteran, who also officiated in 6 NBL Grand Finals said “Looking back I wouldn’t change anything, it has been a great opportunity to see the world, and different players, here and overseas. I have seen so many countries I wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t refereeing. I want to thank Basketball Australia, NBL and Basketball NSW for giving or creating opportunities to get my FIBA Licence and be involved as an official at all levels. Some of my closest and lifetime friends have been or are currently basketball referees”.

Brad officiating 440 games is an amazing accomplishment, how much has the game changed?

“The game is 50% quicker. The players are also bigger and quicker on the court and the coverage is much better for the community. .There is a lot more time involved and a higher level of professionalism required to work the league. It is almost a full-time career to officiate at this level”.

What were your favourite games or moments you officiated?

“My first Grand Final in Melbourne vs Sydney was memorable and my favourite game was the New Zealand v Cairns Grand final- game 3, where New Zealand won on the buzzer to take the series”.

Hogie and Gierschy as they are known to our community will continue their involvement in developing referees as well as still be active officials both at the local and State level.